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MANILA, Philippines - Richard Caronan, alias Atty. Patrick Caronan, 36, a big-time swindler who swindled a school owner of P7.7 million recently, was arrested by the Cainta police not in connection with the case but on two standing warrants of arrest on other estafa cases.
In an interview, Cainta Police chief Supt. Carlito Briones said police arrested Caronan at around 10 p.m. Thursday at the Jollibee branch in Valley Golf, Cainta, Rizal. Caronan lives at 40 Valley View Royale Avenue, Valley View Royale Subdivision in the same area.
School owner Mrs. Loyda Reyes, Caronan’s latest victim, said she will press charges against Caronan on Monday.
“We are set to file charges against him tomorrow,” said Reyes in an interview on Sunday.
Mrs. Reyes said Caronan made her believed he was a “lawyer,” an “expert” in processing legal documents and the “authorized representative” of the owner of a piece of land she wants to buy where she could construct a school.
She issued on April 3, 2012 a P7 million manager’s check to Caronan, who promised to get her the deed of sale and certified true copies of other pertinent documents.
Caronan also collected from her a total P.7 million for “other legal services” and he vanished after all the transactions.
Mrs. Reyes said Caronan was able to cash in the check at the Metrobank branch in Taytay, Rizal using the name of Maricel Atanacio, the owner of the supposed lot.
But in an interview, the real Maricel Atanacio denied she authorized Caronan to transact in her behalf for the supposed sale of her lot and that she has no plan to sell it.
“We’re consulting our lawyers too about the responsibility of some personnel of the bank branch because apparently Caronan has a contact there in the forging of the signature and presenting a fake Maricel Atanacio to cash in the check,” Mrs. Reyes said.
Allegedly, Caronan and his contact have divided the P7 million between them.
Interviewed at the detention cell, Caronan admitted that she collected P7.7 million from Mrs. Reyes.
“Isasauli ko naman iyon, dapat kinausap na lamang ako ni Mrs. Reyes (I would return the money. Mrs. Reyes should have simply talked to me),” he said.
Caronan claimed he has law degree from the St. Mary’s University (SMU) in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya in 2003.
“I’m not an active member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP),” he said.
During the time of his arrest, Briones said Caronan has standing warrants of arrest issued by the Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) of Manila for three counts of estafa issued by Presiding Judge Juan Bermejo Jr. of Branch 3 and for another estafa issued by Presiding Judge Emily San Gaspar-Gito of Branch 20.
According to Briones, Caronan telephoned his office seeking help from two persons on board a motorcycle tailing his car on the night of August 17.
“When we checked his (Caronan) name, the caller, and complainant, we’re stunned that he was in the police’s list of wanted persons. So what we did is we carefully planned our action to respond and at the same time to serve the warrants against him,” he said.
Briones said the two men whom Caronan accused of tailing him have already filed charges against him for physical injuries. “He accosted them during the time he believed they were tailing him. He identified himself as a lawyer and punched them in the face.”