Kidnap cases up, warns watchdog

By Mer Layson, Correspondent

Kidnap-for-ransom gangs are on the loose again: three Chinese Filipinos and an Indian have been kidnapped in the last six weeks, an anticrime watchdog reported on Thursday.

Besides the mysterious abduction of 19-year-old Maureen Elizabeth Pizarro in Quiapo, Manila, on September 7, three more cases involving Chinese Filipinos were recorded in Manila during the same period, according to the Citizen’s Action Against Crime (CAAC), led by the anticrime crusader Teresita Ang-See.

Records gathered from the CAAC and the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order (MRPO) showed that the victims, except for one, were released only after their families paid ransom of at least P5 million each.

The first victim, a 28-year-old Indian, was kidnapped by still unidentified armed men on August 8 on Vito Cruz Street in Manila but rescued by police in Muntinlupa City.

On August 12 a Chinese Filipino trader was also kidnapped in Tondo, but was released after paying P5 million.

Another victim, a 78-year-old businesswoman, was kidnapped in broad daylight in Tondo, but was released in Angeles City, Pampanga, days after her family paid P5 million.

The fourth kidnapping took place on August 29 on Makiling and Dimasalang streets in Sampaloc, Manila. The victim, an 18-year-old student at the University of Santo Tomas, was snatched on her way home. Her family also paid P5 million for her release.

These incidents were not recorded at the Western Police District (WPD).

Because of the rush of kidnappings, the CAAC and the MRPO appealed to businessmen and the Filipino Chinese community to be more vigilant and guard against kidnappers.

Maureen, an aspiring commercial model, was abducted at the Lacson underpass in Quiapo after attending the 5 p.m. Mass at the Quiapo church.

The WPD director, Chief Supt. Pedro Bulaong, said the WPD has no records of the reported kidnappings, because they are being handled by the Presidential Anticrime Emergency Response unit in Camp Crame.

The WPD regularly helps the unit with cases if it receives information about them.

Bulaong explained that it is very important that the victims’ families report the kidnappings to authorities so police could track down the kidnappers.

“Kailangan ang koope­rasyon ng publiko para maresolba ang isang insidente ng kidnapping [The public’s cooperation is needed to resolve the kidnappings],” he said.

25/02/2006

Bron : Manila Times

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