Rise in kidnap cases alarms lawmakers

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SEVERAL senators on Tuesday expressed serious concern over the rise in crime including cases of kidnapping, which according to them are indications of an inefficient leadership of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

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Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito said he has been receiving reports of kidnappings in Metro Manila, including an incident along Epifanio De los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Mandaluyong city. A photo of the incident went viral after it was posted on social networking sites showing several armed men, forcibly trying to abduct an occupant of another vehicle.

Ejercito said he received information that it was an actual kidnapping incident.

“I’m very concerned with the current peace and order situation in the country where kidnappings are reported almost every week and heinous crimes are committed every day,” the senator said in an interview.

Ejercito has taken to task PNP chief Alan Purisima for his failure to address the worsening crime situation, adding that he will definitely bring out the issue once the Senate tackles the budget of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Sen. Francis Escudero said crimes that are brazenly done in broad daylight are indications of the criminals’ contempt for law and a clear mockery of police authorities.

“Why are criminals so emboldened nowadays to perpetrate their crimes in public? Why do these things happen under the noses of our police authorities?” Escudero asked.

He cited last week’s incident involving Chinese-Filipino businessman Benito Chao who was snatched in Bulacan and was found dead hours later.

The kidnappers reportedly initially asked for a P20-million ransom but the family haggled and managed to lower it to P15 million, but Chao was killed just the same.

“I ask the PNP to intensify its campaign against criminals and beef up security to protect the public. The people need to be assured that they can safely walk our streets to and from their homes,” Escudero said.

He said some members of the Filipino-Chinese community are panicking because of the recent rash of kidnapping incidents.

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