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Dimas: No poll-related kidnappings in PH
NOT a single election-related kidnapping was recorded by the Philippine National Police-Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG) since the election period that started last January 9 until last Monday’s “generally peaceful” national and local polls amid the Marcos-Duterte tandem for president and vice-president winning in the partial and unofficial results, PNP-AKG Director Brigadier General Rudolph B. Dimas said yesterday.
However, the PNP-AKG director said in a report to PNP Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Lt. Gen. Vicente D. Danao Jr. that their focused manhunt operation have already resulted in the arrest of 101 wanted persons and the neutralization of three armed kidnapping-for-ransom suspects during a gunbattle.
Brig. Gen. Dimas said that most of the incidents recorded by the PNP-AKG in 2021 until last Tuesday are work-related Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators or POGO incidents such as illegal recruitment of POGO workers, selling of POGO workers from one company to another, and maltreatment of POGO workers.
Licensed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), POGOs are online gambling firms that operate in the country but cater to customers abroad.
“There is also no evidence to prove that POGO and casino-related incidents were orchestrated to fund election campaigns. As we have mentioned already, POGO incidents are work-related while casino kidnappings are debt-related cases,” said Dimas.
The official said that last May 7, PNP-AKG agents rescued Chinese national Li Hong Yu inside a house in Vistamar Village in Bgy. Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu and arrested his two compatriots-kidnappers identified as Rongtong Xue and Li Guo Min.
Dimas said they conducted the anti-kidnapping operation with the support of the Police Regional Office 7 (PRO7) headed by Brig. Gen. Roque Edgardo DP Vega.
The PNP-AKG investigation showed that the victim was kidnapped past 4 p.m. on Wednesday last week while inside the Yang Eatery in Lapu-Lapu City.
The kidnappers later demanded a US$200,000 ransom from the victim’s family.
Following a tip sent to the AKG, officers conducted the successful rescue operation, which led to the arrest of the two suspects for kidnapping for ransom charges before the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday, said Dimas.
The official said that the victim has aired his intention to cooperate with them in prosecuting the suspects fully. By Alfred Dalizon