1 of 2 men who rob, slit tongue of taxi driver nabbed in Mandaue

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ONE of the two suspects who robbed and slit the tongue of a taxi driver in Barangay Pitalo, San Fernando town, southern Cebu was arrested in a joint police operation in Mandaue City on Wednesday night, April 20, 2022.

Police officers from Talisay City, San Fernando and Bohol Province arrested Alexander Rematado in his rented house in Barangay Maguikay at 11 p.m. based on an arrest warrant issued against him over a 2017 murder case in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.

The arrest warrant was issued by Judge Jenifer Chavez Marcos of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 2 in Tagbilaran City on February 2019. No bail was recommended for Rematado’s release.

READ: Police identify 1 of 2 men who rob, slit tongue of taxi driver

Lieutenant Colonel Randy Caballes, chief of the Talisay City Police Station, said Rematado was positively identified by the victim, taxi driver Andres Alfanta.

Caballes said Alfanta had personally identified Rematado after a picture of the suspect was shown to him while he was still recovering at the Cebu South Medical Center (formerly Talisay District Hospital).

Caballes said his operatives assisted in Rematado’s arrest after Alfanta’s family sought their help.

“We coordinated with our colleagues in San Fernando due to the request of the family. During our backtracking, we found that Rematado has an existing warrant for murder in Bohol. In order to get hold of the warrant, we also contacted our colleagues in Bohol to help us out,” he said.

Caballes said aside from Rematado’s murder case in Bohol, the suspect is also facing a robbery case in Carcar City which was filed in 2013. An arrest warrant has been issued against Rematado on this robbery charge by Cebu City RTC Branch 16 Judge Sylva Aguirre Paderanga.

Local police are still searching for Rematado’s cohort.

Major Efren Diaz Jr., chief of the San Fernando Police Station, said it was through their rogues’ gallery or their record of arrested persons that they were able to confirm Rematado’s involvement in the crime.

“When we show Alfante the photos of our rogues’ gallery, it was then that he pointed Rematado’s picture,” Diaz added.

Alfante was present during Rematado’s presentation to the media on Thursday, April 21. The taxi driver confirmed that Alfante was the one who held him at gunpoint.

It was one of Alfante’s children who spoke on behalf for the taxi driver as his injury prevented him from speaking.

Rematado’s cohort was the one who slit Alfante’s tongue.

But Rematado denied the allegations against him, adding that he had an alibi.

He said he couldn’t commit the crime as he was working at a mall in Mandaue City where he is currently employed on April 12, the day the crime was committed in San Fernando.

Diaz said they will charge Rematado with robbery and serious physical injury.

Involvement in other robberies

Following Rematado’s arrest, the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) is planning to coordinate with their colleagues from San Fernando and Talisay City to determine if the man they arrested was involved in robbing and stabbing taxi driver Edwin Abastillas in Lahug on Thursday, April 14.

Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, CCPO’s deputy director for operation, told reporters that they will conduct a background check on Rematado to determine if the suspect was also involved in other robbery incidents in the city.

Abastillas, 52, a resident of Barangay Linao-Lipata in Minglanilla town, was driving his taxi towards Nivel Hills in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City with his passenger, the robber. After they arrived in the area, the passenger held him up and stabbed him multiple times.

The driver sustained 12 stab wounds, including one in the nape, for attempting to fight the robber. (BBT,AYB/JKV)

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