THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday announced that they have arrested five members of a kidnap-for-ransom group and rescued a six year-old kidnap victim in an operation over the weekend in Carmona town, Cavite province.
Deputy Director General Felipe Rojas, PNP Deputy Chief for Administration, identified the arrested as Noel Raymundo, Noel Talledo, Fernan Maala, Elias de Leon and Efren Marcina.
Rojas said that Raymundo and Talledo were arrested by operatives of PNP’s Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) in their hideout at Barangay Dalivan, Carmona, Cavite on Thursday. Rojas said that police operatives also rescued the six year-old girl who has been kidnapped by the group on January 9 in Batangas province.
Meanwhile, Maala, de Leon and Marcina were arrested in a series of follow-up operations in Laguna province and Rizal province.
“The said group is also believed to be responsible for an earlier kidnapping of another young girl in Tanay, Rizal last November,’” Rojas said.
Senior Supt. Renato Gumban, AKG director, said Raymundo, was a former member of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) while another suspect, de Leon, was a former policeman.
Gumban said that the family of the young girl received a call from the suspects demanding P20 million for the safe release of their daughter who was kidnapped by the suspects while being driven to school by a family driver.
“The family made a money transfer of P883,000 to a certain Leslie Bautista last January 20 . . . the suspects released the driver, but not the young girl and demanded an additional P5 million,” Gumban said.
The AKG chief said that their operatives conducted backtracking and with the help of the freed driver were able to locate the suspects’ and the victim’s location that led to a successful rescue operations and arrests of the suspects.
“The suspects were also responsible for the kidnapping of another young victim and killing of driver, Alberto Sedanto last November 19 in Tanay, Rizal,” Gumban said.
The AKG chief said the kidnap victim’s family in Tanay, Rizal negotiated for the release of the victim and transacted thru a remittance center the amount of P123, 372 to the account given by the suspects.
“The young kidnap victim was freed by the suspects, but the suspects did not release Sedanto … the suspect may have some ‘personal grudge’ or may have recognized the suspects that’s why he was killed,” Gumban said.
The AKG chief said that Sedanto’s body was later exhumed by their operatives last December at Sitio Yakat, Barangay Quisao, Pililia, Rizal.
Gumban said the five are now undergoing inquest proceedings at the Department of Justice for kidnapping for ransom while another case of kidnap for ransom with murder charges are being readied against the suspects. ANTHONY VARGAS