Manila, Philippines – Four police officers of the Muntinlupa City Police have been arrested for kidnapping for ransom, while four other cops remain at large.
The policemen involved were active members of the Station Drug Enforcement Unit (SDEU), and carried out the crime under the guise of a legitimate anti-illegal drug operation.
In a statement, the Philippine National Police identified the detained lawmen as Senior Police Office 1 Psylo Joe Jimenez Malabuyo, PO3 Romeo Par Portento, PO2 Farvy Dela Cruz Opalla, and PO1 Jon-Jon Averion Cacao.
Meanwhile, four of their alleged cohorots who were able to evade arrest were identified as SDEU chief Sr. Inspector Mark Kevin Pesigan, SPO1 Edgardo Zervoulakos Diaz, PO3 Charlie Miranda Chua, and PO3 Roderick Salvador Villanueva.
Operatives of the Muntinlupa Police, the National Captial Region Police Office, and the Regional Special Operation Unit conducted an entrapment operation against the eight officers on Friday, July 13, following the complaint of Abner Bumatay Cantil, 35, a construction foreman.
Initial investigation showed that the officers barged into the home of Cantil on Thursday morning, and under the guise of a drug operation, arrested Cantil’s live-in partner Glaiza Iglesias Marquez and her seven-year-old child.
They allegedly seized the victim’s properties including money, jewelry, a LED television, cellphones, and a laptop.
Later that day, the suspects called Cantil using his partner’s phone and demanded P400,000 in exchange for the release of Glaiza and her son.
After multiple negotiations, the two parties agreed on the amount of P40,000 as the ransom money.
Cantil then reported the incident to the authorities, and the entrapment operation was conducted at around 3:15 p.m. of the same day.
After Cantil handed over the money to one of the suspects, the operatives barged in the building, resulting in a scuffle, which led to the arrest of the four officers.
The other four managed to escape.
The kidnapped victims, meanwhile, were successfully rescued.
Among the recovered pieces of evidence were the marked money, service firearms, and cellphones.
Recovered from the vehicle of PO2 Dela Cruz were the stolen items from Glaiza, and a sachet of suspected shabu.
The suspects will be charged with violation of Article 267 (kidnapping and serious illegal detention) and Article 293 (robbery) of the Revised Penal Code.
Dela Cruz will be facing an additional charge for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The four suspects who remain at large are still the subject of a follow-up operation.