Cop nabbed in Oton cockfight rapped

PHOTO CAPTION: Oton MPS investigators gather all the pieces of evidence they need to file an illegal gambling case against five arrested suspects, including P/Cpl. Virgilio Rojo, Jr., in a “tupada” in Brgy. Cagbang, Oton. (N. Glenn Aragon/Photo courtesy of Oton MPS)

ILOILO–The police corporal nabbed for his involvement in the illegal cockfighting operation in Brgy. Cagbang, Oton, last July 10 has been charged in court.

According to P/Capt. Robert Jayson Pancha, chief of the Oton Municipal Police Station (MPS), the illegal gambling case against P/Cpl. Virgilio Rojo, Jr. was filed yesterday, but he was able to post bail on the same day.

Aside from Rojo, who is assigned at the General Services Office of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), also nabbed during the illegal cockfighting operations were Isaac Villavicencio, 51, of Brgy. Cagbang, Oton; Efren Joan Samillano, 35, of Brgy. Mohon, Arevalo; Arman Dejapa, 43, of Zone 15, Brgy. Calaparan, Arevalo, and Mark Crucero, 38, of Brgy. San Isidro, Jaro.

Meanwhile, Pancha laughed off Rojo’s version of what really happened during the raid, particularly his claim that he was not at the makeshift cockpit when police swooped in.

“He was there when we announced the raid, but he tried to escape. We can prove that with incontrovertible evidence,” he said.

The Oton MPS chief said there were between 10 and 15 people at the farm slash cockpit arena when they arrived there, but that they were only able to collar five men, including Cpl. Rojo.

He said that Rojo thereafter introduced himself as a cop. “Nagpakilala siya nga tropa. Abi nya palutson namon siya [He introduced himself to us as a cop. He thought we would let him go].”

“Ang basa ko sa iya, gusto niya tani mag-ayo nga kon pwede indi lang pagdal-on kay pulis siya, maluoy sa iya. Galing lang, sang makita niya nga daw tsansa nga makapalagyo siya, amo to nga dumalagan siya [From my initial assessment of him, he wanted us not to take him in because he was a cop, that we show him mercy. Problem was, when he saw a chance to escape, he ran off],” Pancha recounted.

According to him, a member of the raiding team was reading the five suspects their Miranda rights when Rojo suddenly jumped over the fence and started running towards an adjacent rice field. He then rode a motorcycle in an attempt to make good his escape but was later apprehended in Brgy. Pakiad of the same municipality after a brief chase.

A video footage courtesy of a resident in the area that shows Rojo running in the middle of a rice field while escaping from the police has, in fact, gone viral on social media.

Pancha also said this is not the first time Rojo is involved in controversy: in 2019, a tricycle driver filed a case against him after Rojo pointed a gun at him. (N. Glenn Aragon/iNEWS)

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