Wally Sombero: ‘I think I’m safe with police’

Rambo Talabong
Wally Sombero: ‘I think I’m safe with police’
Is retired police colonel and alleged Jack Lam middleman Wenceslao 'Wally' Sombero batting for detention inside Camp Crame?

MANILA, Philippines – Wenceslao “Wally” Sombero feels at home in Camp Crame.

In a press briefing inside the national police headquarters on Wednesday, April 11, the alleged middleman of casino tycoon Jack Lam admitted that amid apparent threats to his life, he feels more secure in the presence of policemen.

“With General Albayalde and General Obusan in the CIDG, I think I’m safe. Since I was formally assigned in CIDG, I felt (sic) comfortable,” Sombero, a retired police colonel, told reporters.

Sombero surrendered to police early Wednesday morning, his booking procedure overseen by incoming police chief Director Oscar Albayalde and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief Roel Obusan. 

According to Albayalde, Sombero sent surrender feelers on Tuesday just after the Sandiganbayan released his arrest order.

Sombero, Albayalde announced, connected with him and Obusan through retired PNP senior officials.

Camp Crame detention? Pressed to explain whether his comfort in Crame will mean a motion to be detained in the PNP Custodial Center, Sombero simply joked that if he had his way, he would opt for house arrest.

“If you will ask me, I prefer to be detained in my house,” Sombero said.

Sombero’s counsel, Jessie Lanete, responded more directly, announcing that they are eyeing the filing of a motion that will, in effect, have Sombero requesting to choose his own detention facility.

Just by his own history, it appears Sombero is qualified to be detained inside the police camp. While he has yet to be flagged as a high-profile or high-risk detainee by the police or the courts, he is still a retired police officer.

Philippine National Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao earlier announced that the PNP Custodial Center can also accommodate former police officers such as Sombero.

In the end, the courts will have the final say on where Sombero stays. – Rappler.com

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.