An 80-year-old man was arrested in a town in Pangasinan after allegedly stealing mangoes from his neighbor.
Reports about the incident made buzz among social media users. They deemed the arrest “too harsh” for an old man.
The elderly man identified as Narding “Lolo Narding” Floro told the authorities that he only picked the mangoes because he thought it was part of their property, according to the report of the public information office of Asingan town in Pangasinan.
The post had since been deleted on its Facebook page.
“Pinapitas ko yung isang puno ng manga wala pang sampung kilo, ang alam ko sakop namin. Noong binakuran nila, sinakop naman na nila pero tanim ko naman yun,” he was quoted as saying in the PIO Asingan report.
Floro said that he even tried to reach an agreement with the owner.
The provincial court later ordered him to pay P6,000 for bail, according to PIO Asingan.
“Ang gusto ko sana makipagsundo, maliit lang naman kasi na bagay, noong ibibigay ko yung bayad ayaw nilang tanggapin, ang sabi nila bayaran ko ng anim na libo,” he was quoted as saying.
Floro was arrested at 5 p.m. last January 13 or more than a week following a manhunt operations by local provincial police.
A warrant of arrest was previously issued by the 7th Municipal Circuit Trial Courts of Asingan-San Manuel last December 20.
Lolo Narding to post bail
In another report by The Philippine Star, a police officer named Police Major Napoleon Eleccion said that the provincial judge and the police force are in coordination to hasten Floro’s release.
“Kagabi tumawag sa amin isa sa mga judge at nakikoordinate na tayo sa chief of clerk na to fast track his bail, his temporary liberty,” Eleccion was quoted as saying in a Facebook Live.
The report also said that according to Pangasinan PNP spokesperson Lt. Col. Ferdinand de Asis, several members of the Asingan provincial police had contributed to collect funds for Floro’s bail.
However, Floro remained in custody because his release papers have yet to be signed due to the implementation of Alert Level 3 in the province.
Eleccion also said that Floro also received numerous help from concerned citizens.
These additional funds will be used for Floro’s basic needs and necessities.
Local social media users expressed collective sympathy for Floro following social media posts about his arrest.
Others slammed the owner for the punishment meted out to Floro.
“Grabe naman yung may-ari na yan. Pinakulong agad 10 kilos lang naman na mangga nakakaawa si lolo ang tanda na nga niya. Walang awa at walang puso ung nagpakulong sa kanya,” a Facebook user commented.
“Ba’t kaya nagkaron po ng ganung sentensya si lolo? Dahil lang napitas nya ang manga umabot pa sa ganyan. Akala ko dapt inaayos ganyang reklamo sa barangay,” another Facebook user asked.
Some online users juxtaposed Floro’s situation with the alleged corrupt practices in the government.
“Dahil sa 10 kilo mangga nakulong, yung sa Philhealth nga at mga buwaya sa government di nakukulong tumatakbo pa ulet hahahaha! Buhay nga nman,” one Facebook user said.
Some concerned Filipinos also called for donations for Floro’s bail.
“Anyone nearby Lolo Narding Floro? Madaming willing mag-donate for his bail including me. Thank you!” one Reddit user said.
“If someone can get us the contact details of manong, I am willing to shell out that bail amount for him,” another online user tweeted.