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March 25, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 492 views

Alfred DalizonI’M referring to the continuing strong partnership between the Philippine National Police particularly its Anti-Kidnapping Group, the Department of Justice and the Movement of Restoration and Peace and Order to help fight kidnapping-for-ransom syndicates and other copycat gangs in the country.

The partnership has produced a number of major anti-kidnapping accomplishments and court victories as PNP-AKG investigators and DOJ prosecutors partnered to present credible witnesses and testimonies and other pieces of evidence which in the end have led in the conviction of dozens of kidnappers who were found by the court guilty beyond reasonable doubt. This is what DOJ chief Boying Remulla and DILG chief Abalos wants exactly.

Then there is the presence of the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order or MRPO founded by Ms. Tessie Ang-Sy in 1993 following the kidnapping-slay of 15-year old Charlene Sy. Thirty years after, the MRPO chaired for many years by Architect Ka Kuen Chua and now Melvin Dy, with the guidance of Sy, still remains a potent ‘support group’ for KFR victims and a loud voice that rouses authorities from its sleep.

Nearly 35 years after I started covering the national police force, police are still going after a handful of KFR syndicates in the country, nowadays mostly composed of ruthless Chinese gangsters who will seize and torture their victims in front of video cameras to force their families to pay their huge ransom demand.

While the PNP has crippled the operations of the remaining few local KFR syndicates in Luzon and Visayas and with the help of the Armed Forces has effectively stopped the operations of the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group in Mindanao, there is really no stopping the activities of Chinese gangsters, many of them believed to be under the employ of POGO companies which are known for ordering the abduction of different targets. Of course, these moneyed syndicates are acting with the help of rogue Filipinos, some of them believed to be law enforcement officers, active or retired.

On Friday, I joined Ms. Ang-See, Dy and other MRPO members, DOJ Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olive Torrevillas and other PNP-AKG officers in cheering as Judge Dennis Galahad Orendain of the Lucena City Regional Trial Court Branch 53 sentenced to life imprisonment four suspects in the kidnapping0for-ransom and killing of a Filipino-Chinese businessman in Padre Garcia, Batangas in December 2014.

Judge Orendain found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt and sentenced them to reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole. The order means that convicted dismissed Army soldier Brandall Mark Cacatian and his civilian-cohorts Ronald Lasala, Alfonso Nepomueno and Bernard Escobar will have to spend the rest of their life in jail without being eligible for parole.

Each was also ordered to pay a total of P300,000 in civil and moral damages to the family of Jefferson Vince Uy whom they kidnapped and killed in Barangay Tangob in Padre Garcia, Batangas on December 12, 2014. I watched as Uy’s widow heaved a sigh of relief and appeared to be on the verge of crying as the guilty verdict was announced. Finally, justice was served to Uy’s family.

In February 2018, PNP agents arrested Cacatian, tagged as the 8th most wanted person in the country in connection with the Uy kidnapping-for-ransom with homicide case. Judge Eloida Diaz of the Lucena City RTC Branch 58 ordered the arrest of the accused who was caught in his hiding place in Taguig City.

A record check showed that Cacatian used to be a member of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division who was dismissed from the military service in 2006. He was also accused of involvement in the kidnapping of another Filipino-Chinese national identified as Santy Bryan Ang in Lucban, Quezon on December 12, 2012.

The group of Cacatian demanded P7 million from Ang’ family. They eventually got a total of P1.069 million from the victim’s relatives before releasing the victim unharmed. The kidnappers were also accused of abducting Uy before demanding a P7 million ransom from his family. The kidnappers eventually reduced their demand to P357,000. However, the suspects killed their captive despite having already received the ransom.

The rest of the suspects were eventually arrested in a series of manhunt operations conducted by PNP operatives led by those from the PNP-AKG. The MRPO cited the strong partnership between their group, the PNP-AKG and the DOJ in the conviction of the Uy kidnappers-killers.

We watched the promulgation online at the PNP-AKG headquarters in Camp Crame as members of the unit led by Brigadier General Jun Castil continued their investigation into the gruesome kidnapping and murder of another Filipino-Chinese businessman committed by three Chinese nationals.

I learned that the three Chinese nationals and their female Vietnamese cohort have been arrested by the PNP-AKG for their involvement in the kidnapping, torture and murder of the Tsinoy trader in Quezon City. The suspects are now facing criminal charges before the DOJ.

The suspects who are now being held at the PNP-AKG lock-up facility in Camp Crame were found to be involved in the kidnapping of the victim whose body they dumped in a grassy area in Barangay Tres Cruses in Tanza, Cavite, I learned.

The principal accused are three ruthless male Chinese nationals while the 4th is a Vietnamese woman who collected the ransom money deposited to her bank account by the family of the victim identified as Mario Sy Uy.

The victim’s body was found covered with a blanket at the grassy area of Saddle and Club Leisure Park in Bgy. Tres Cruses last Wednesday. His face was covered with duct tape and a black jacket was looped around his neck, my friend, Cavite police director, Colonel Cris Olazo told me.

The victim had bad wounds on his hand and neck, I learned. It turned out that there is a video showing the victim being tortured by his captors. Some of his fingers were cut off by one of the kidnappers. After killing him, the kidnappers were believed to even have the gall to remand ransom money from the victim’s family before they dumped his body in Tanza.

Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission Executive Director Gilbert Cruz said that thru the PAOCC and the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center’s help, the PNP-AKG specifically its Intelligence Research and Analysis Division headed by Col. Fred Obar managed to gather pertinent information that resulted in the identification and arrest of the suspects.

The three Chinese nationals identified as Bei Huimin,30; Jielong Shen,26; and Sun Xiaohui,26, were arrested after they conspired to withdraw the ransom money deposited in their bank account inside a bank in Parañaque City.

The 4th identified as 33-year old Vietnamese Hong Puc Lee was arrested on the same day in Uptown Mall in BGC, Taguig City. The PNP-AKG investigation showed that P560,000 ransom given by the victim’s family was deposited to the Vietnamese woman’s BPI account last March 20. She also withdrew the same amount two days later.