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Estafa raps vs. lawyer and court employee

A Cebu City-based lawyer and a Palace of Justice official have been charged with estafa before the Regional Trial Court yesterday for allegedly attempting to sell a parcel of land they didn’t own to a Filipino waiter in Hawaii.

Lawyer Marlon Cabilan and Engr. Isagani Saranillo were the named respondents of the estafa case filed by Romulo Rodger Enojardo of Punta Princesa.

The information of the complaint was not however given to the media.

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-7 director Medardo de Lemos signed the said complaint.

The FREEMAN tried to get Sarnillo’s side, but he refused to comment on the matter.

The charge comes after an investigation that the NBI began late last year.

Based on the complaint, Cabilan and Saranillo allegedly conspired to sell to Enojardo a 434-square-meter property in Gemsville Subdivision, Lahug for P2 million in January 2006.

Enojardo, feeling fortunate that he was able to acquire a sufficiently large area of prime real estate for such a low cost, ended up sending money to Saranillo over a period of close to two years for the purchase, plus an additional amount to develop the property.

Enjorado sent the two P900,000 over Western Union from the period of January 2006 to May 2007 and paid Western Union P100,000 in fees for the several times that he had sent money.

According to the complaint, the two sold a property owned by a certain Herbert and Peterline Lalaine Bautista of Surigao City.

On Jan. 16, 2006, Saranillo asked Enojardo for P100,000 as “earnest money” to indicate his intent on buying the property.

He sent the money and, in return, received from Saranillo by way of courier, “certified true copy of the documents of the property” that, Saranillo said, came from the Office of the Cebu City Register of Deeds.

He likewise got a copy of a deed of absolute sale, which Saranillo claimed he got from Cabilan. The document was notarized by Cabilan.

In March of the same year, the payments began.

Enojardo said Saranillo first asked him to send P250,000, saying that Cabilan called him to say that the property owner needed the cash for medicine.

In July 2006, Enojardo said Saranillo again informed him that the landowner needed an additional P50,000. The amount was again sent via Western Union.

On April 2007, Saranillo said that Bautista needed P50,000 for medicine.

Last May, it was Cabilan who allegedly called Enojardo and asked that P300,000 be sent for the capital gains tax payment needed so he can process the transfer documents of the property.

Convinced that Cabilan was telling the truth, and after sending the P300,000 Enojardo instructed Saranillo to buy filling materials to level his “newly acquired” parcel of land.

The couple however denied any intention to sell their property when the complainant asked them.

A P40,000 bail has been recommended for the suspects. —Jasmin R. Uy /NLQ (THE FREEMAN)

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