I went to Asingan, Pangasinan last Thursday, Jan. 20. It was a 174-kilometer ride from home. I wanted to make sure I had all the facts first before offering my help. I was aware that I was dealing with somebody with a pending criminal case for theft. Nevertheless, I decided to help.
Here’s the twist: Narding Flores, the 80-year-old former caretaker of the property, did steal three (3) sacks of mangoes worth P12,000, not ten (10) kilograms as earlier claimed. He sold the mangoes in the local “talipapa” and had already spent the proceeds.
Much earlier, for unknown reasons, he was dismissed as caretaker by the property owner.
Robert Hong, the complainant and the present caretaker, also works as a truck driver. He has to stop working as he is now in hiding due to incessant cyber-bullying, courtesy of some bloggers and netizens who continue to hound him when the case went viral after the Asingan PIO posted on Facebook Lolo Narding’s arrest and detention. Robert’s family also cries for justice. They are worried about Robert’s security.
Why do I know all these?
As I said earlier, I was in Asingan, Pangasinan last Thursday. However, I did not get off my car upon seeing the presence of media people covering Narding Flores’ case in the police station as well as in his house located just a stone’s throw away from the police station where he was detained for several days until yesterday when the PNP bailed him out with the assistance of a PAO lawyer.
I instructed my two staff members who traveled with me to quietly find and talk to Robert, which they did after convincing his family and getting information from the police, neighbors and the barangay officials. They also managed to talk to Lolo Narding.
Towards the end of the day, Robert and Lolo Narding agreed to amicably settle their case in court during the latter’s scheduled arraignment on February 8. Robert’s only request is for us to help him rectify the disinformation no matter how unintentional, but unfortunately has put him in a very bad light. He said that he only did what is right under the circumstances and does not deserve the treatment he is getting, mostly from the misinformed netizens and the public. We believed him.
Asingan PIO has already issued an apology even as they have already taken down the story that they posted earlier.
Robert continues to contact my office to ask for help which we promised we will do in whatever means we can.
For fairness and justice’s sake, I hope and pray that this ends well for Lolo Narding and Robert.