MANILA The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday announced the recent successful operations against kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) and gun-for-hire groups by its Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) and the Police Regional Office 4-A (Calabarzon).
"PNP Calabarzon has responded positively to my instructions to hit hard on these crime groups that provide support systems to drug trade activities," PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said in a press conference.
The criminal groups include one consisting of policemen, some of which are AWOL, whose scheme is kidnapping victims repeatedly after charging them with bailable offenses.
"Follow-up operations are underway to arrest other suspects including AWOL PO1 Michael Siervo, his wife Margie Celin-Siervo, and several others who were tagged suspects in the kidnapping of Bonifacia Arcita on July 29, 2018 in Barangay Pansol, Calamba City, Laguna," Albayalde said.
AKG chief Senior Supt. Glenn Dumlao explained to newsmen that Arcita had been the subject of a drug bust after a drug user was nabbed in a room she was renting out.
At 2 a.m. on July 29, Arcita was kidnapped by five unidentified armed men on board a Toyota Corolla with unknown plate number.
At around 3:30 a.m. of the same date, Arcita's daughter, Celestina Arcita-Rodriguez, received a call from the kidnappers demanding PHP300,000 in exchange for the release of her mother.
On July 30, Rodriguez sent an initial payment of PHP20,000 through Smart Pera Padala in two different transactions as instructed by the kidnappers.
After a series of negotiations, the ransom was lowered to PHP120,000. The kidnappers threatened Mrs. Rodriguez that something will happen to the victim if she failed to deliver the remaining PHP100,000.
She was then instructed by the kidnappers to deliver the money at the Alabang Terminal, Muntinlupa City and was given until 9 p.m. of the same date. Due to fear, Mrs. Rodriguez informed the kidnappers that she will be replaced by her niece Neriza Rodriguez to communicate with them.
While the AKG operating teams are conducting stakeout and surveillance operations, Rodriguez informed them that her mother has been released by the kidnappers somewhere in Barangay Sto. Domingo, Sta Rosa City, Laguna.
On Aug. 1, 2018, AKG operatives together with the kidnap victim backtracked in coordination with Bay Municipal Police Station, and were able to locate the safe house, where the victim was kept at Purok 4, Barangay Tranca, Bay, Laguna.
The victim identified the vehicle used by the kidnappers during the abduction, a green Toyota Corolla with plate number WBH 840.
Dumlao identified at least three policemen in the Siervo group PO2 Gerald P. Bonifacio, PO1 Renald Carandang and PO2 Jonathan Galang who are either AWOL or missing.
"Magkakaiba (sila) ng station pero nagbo-volt in pag may buy bust, nakaka-bail (ang suspects) tapos binabalikan nila (They are assigned at different stations but they flock together during a buy bust. They get back at the suspects after they have posted bail)," he added.
It was at the alleged safe house owned by the Siervos in Barangay Tranca in Bay town in Laguna where the victim claimed to have been kept in captivity until her release upon payment of ransom.
A subsequent AKG raid in the area yielded high-powered assault rifles, handguns, grenades, ammunition and Siervo's PNP uniform and police badge.
Arcita positively identified PO1 Siervo as the leader of the group that abducted her.
AKG is now conducting follow-up investigation for the possible identification of other suspects and their arrest. Criminal charges are being prepared against Siervo and his cohorts.
In another operation on Aug. 3, the AKG arrested kidnapping suspects Christian Rueda and Jiovanni Ojeda upon the complaint of a certain Joseph Estrada in the vicinity of BCDA C5 Petron Gas Station, Taguig City.
At 2 a.m. on July 28, the victim was forcibly taken by the suspects in Diamond St., Ramer Village, Tandang Sora, Quezon City.
On the same day, the victim's sister Petronila Bona received a phone call from the victim himself, begging to send him PHP300,000 through LBC or Western Union to pay his debt.
The next day, Bona received a call from unknown person using his brother's cellphone number, reiterating the payment of PHP 300,000 ransom in exchange for the safe release of her brother.
On July 30, while the negotiation for ransom payment was ongoing, the victim managed to escape from his captors while inside BDO Marikina and about to withdraw from his ATM.
On Aug. 3, the victim sought the assistance of AKG after receiving threats through text and calls from the suspects that they would kill him and his family members if he will not give them PHP500,000.
On the afternoon of the same date, the AKG operatives and the complainant proceeded to Petron Gasoline Station near the BCDA as instructed by the suspects.
While the victim was standing at the said place, a Black Montero arrived, from which a man alighted and approached the victim to get the money.
This eventually resulted in the arrest of the suspects.
Rueda and Ojeda were also identified as the perpetrators of a murder and carnapping case in Tagaytay City last July 31, 2018.
Meanwhile, the Rizal police neutralized the leader of a gun-for-hire and gunrunning syndicate at Benjie Apartelle and Manila East Road, in Barangay Pantok in Binangonan town on Sunday.
An armed encounter resulted in the neutralization of Jeffrey Landingin, of the Landingin Gun-For-Hire Group and Richard Alcantara.
Both are also involved in gunrunning, drugs and auto theft. Aside from handguns, ammunition, radios and ballistic armor, also recovered were two Honda Accords, one blue with plate no. MUS 777 and one white with plate number RNE 222. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency