An employee of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) was arrested after he held up at gunpoint a female dormitory resident at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City.
Reports from the UP Diliman Police (UPDP) identified the perpetrator as Francis Lawrence Miranda, 30, staff member of the Office of General Services at the BJMP. The incident happened around 8:45 p.m. last January 7, in front of the Church of the Risen Lord along J.P. Laurel Street.
Gelli Anne Dasaban, a 17-year-old engineering sophomore from Laguna, was on her way to the Ilang-Ilang Residence Hall when Miranda approached from behind and ordered her to hand over her bag. He threatened to shoot with his 9-mm pistol if she refused.
Dasaban obeyed but screamed for help before Miranda could run farther than two blocks away. This caught the attention of nearby security guards and members of the Special Services Brigade (SSB).
SSB patrollers managed to retrieve the victim’s belongings: a black bag with two cellphones, a wallet with P1000 cash and two automated teller machine (ATM) cards.
The perpetrator sustained head injuries after being thwarted and mauled by residents of Pook Ricarte, where he had intended to escape. He was sent to the UP Health Service and East Avenue Medical Center before being turned over to the Quezon City Police District Anonas Police Station.
Miranda was a first-time criminal, according to SP Gregorio Aquino Jr. who handled the investigation. “Kailangan niya daw talaga magpadala ng P20, 000 sa kanila sa Nueva Ecija, kaya siya napilitan mang-holdap (He said he really needed to send P20, 000 to his family in Nueva Ecija, that’s why he was forced to stage a holdup),” said Aquino.
A robbery case was already filed against Miranda at the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office. However, Aquino said that in recent text messages, Dasaban informed him of her family’s decision to drop the charge. Miranda was freed on January 14, after posting a bail of P100, 000.
The incident was the first robbery case recorded by the UPDP for 2011. This was followed by another holdup at Pook Aguinaldo last January 8, involving a UP history professor. Statistics from the UPDP indicate that robbery incidents saw a decline in the previous year, from 27 in 2009 to 17 in 2010.