is not robbery!
By BERTENI “TOTO” CATALUNA CAUSING
President, Hukuman ng Mamamayan Movement Inc. (HMMI)
President, Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM)
With due respect to the Office of the City Prosecutor of General Santos City, it is erroneous for it to say there was probable cause of “robbery by extortion” in a case of entrapment.
If one of the elements of robbery by extortion is intimidation or threat, how can it happen that the giver of the money be said to have been intimidated or threatened if armed policemen are behind the giver of the money?
In a very recent case, a woman claimed that she was set up by the chief of police to give P50,000.00 to a policeman and the armed cops from the city police headquarters will arrest the policeman as soon as the money is given.
The agreement was for the woman to press a “miss call” on her cellular phone as soon the policeman receives the money inside a police station.
The woman claimed that as soon as she gave the money, she made a “miss call” and the team of more than 20 armed cops raided the police station while other armed police men surrounded the station in a manner that no one can escape.
As soon as the raiders got inside the police station, they did not find the target policeman.
If the raiders did not find the target policeman, the only conclusion that can be gotten is that it was not true that the woman gave the money to the same policeman. She might have pocketed the marked money.
Now, even assuming that it was true there was that target policeman and it is true that there was the existence of the giving of money, and it is true that the target policeman was arrested in the act, it cannot be robbery by extortion.
The woman cannot be threatened or intimidated because she was backed up by heavily-armed policemen from the city police headquarters while she was inside the target police station. No amount of threat by that policeman can frighten that woman because of the comfortable feeling she was backed by a company of armed men.
And if it cannot happen that the woman was threatened, therefore there is no robbery by extortion.
This is just simple to see yet the Office of the City Prosecutor said there was robbery.
Let it be seen if the Regional Trial Court of General Santos City will also see the logic or follow the way of the prosecutor’s office.