SC affirms life sentences on 2 cops, 4 other kidnappers

The Supreme Court (SC) affirmed the sentence of reclusion perpetua (life imprisonment) on six men, including two policemen, convicted of kidnapping in 2005.

Police Officers 1 Antonio Castillo and Jose Lonmar Zapatos, at the time assigned to the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group and Special Action Force, respectively, were convicted along with Crispin Araneta, Annabelle Olidan, Benjamin Olidan, and Lynfer Bicodo for kidnapping then 11-year-old twins, Jin Ritz and Kelvyelt Sermonia, their 9-year-old sister, Vinz, and their nanny, Eulalia Cuevas.

The victims, on their way to school, were taken at Filinvest, Quezon City on the morning of Aug. 30, 2005.

In a 12-page resolution uploaded May 20, the SC affirmed the Court of Appeals’ June 7, 2019 decision which upheld the sentence and increased to PHP100,000 the cost of damages imposed by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 225.

The children recounted how the kidnappers tied them up in a bathroom, fed them crackers, and beat them up.

They were eventually rescued two days later at a house in the Payatas area and the perpetrators were arrested by elements of the Police Anti-Crime Emergency Response.

One of the suspects, Rogelio Caloring, died on March 10, 2021 while another accused, Rey Alada, will be prosecuted once arrested.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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