THE five policemen accused of kidnapping 33-year-old Enrique Fernandez III, known to friends as “Kiking,” are now detained at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) following their arrest by NBI agents, Tuesday, November 15, at the Police Regional Office (PRO) in Camp Vicente Alagar, Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City.

Lawyer Hans Barbaso, NBI acting assistant regional director, said kidnapping is a continuous offense, prompting them to conduct a hot pursuit operation in coordination with the officials of PRO.

The suspects, identified as Senior Inspector Ereneo Ramirez, chief of the Crime against Person and Property Desk and his subordinates: Police Officer 3 Alejandro Ubanan, Senior Police Officer 2 Jojo Lim, Senior Police Officer 1 Alaindelon Tacubao, and Police Officer 2 Sangkula Hussein, were all brought to the NBI jail facility.

Barbaso said a little commotion happened during the arrest after the suspects refused to be handcuffed.

But the suspects later decided to cooperate after the NBI team prevailed upon agreeing to a formal turn-over of the suspects by PRO Regional Director Noel Constantino, Barbaso added.

“They were disarmed and minor commotion lang when they refused to be handcuffed, but anyway, naa man (there was) formal turn-over so we decided dili na lang (not to) i-handcuff,” Barbaso said.

“The PNP officials termed this as turn-over but technically, this was an arrest in consonance with the hot pursuit,” Barbaso said.

In a press conference at the NBI Tuesday afternoon, Barbaso showed journalists a copy of the closed circuit television (CCTV) camera footage of the alleged kidnapping.

The footages came from a CCTV camera outside the Uptown Condotel, Upper Balulang, Cagayan de Oro City.

The footage, taken on the morning of October 23, shows Kiking being manhandled by five men toward a waiting white Honda minivan.

The suspects did not immediately leave the premises and one of the five was later shown tinkering with Kiking’s KTM motorcycle.

The minivan later left with Kiking still inside followed by one of the five on board Kiking’s motorcycle.

The victim’s parents reported the incident to the police the following day but were frustrated by the slow-moving action of the police, prompting them to seek help from the NBI on October 26.

Although several reasons for the abduction are being examined, Pastor Oran III, NBI special investigator, said the victim’s live in partner had recently sold a property worth P6.5 million which could have been the motive of the crime.

“Maybe later we will be able to uncover the real motive,” Barbaso said.

The NBI already transmitted the complaint to the City Prosecutor's Office where the suspects may be presented Wednesday, November 16, for the inquest proceedings.

Barbaso said NBI has custody of the suspects but the five may be brought to the city jail once the prosecutor issues a commitment order.

The NBI filed kidnapping and carnapping charges against the suspects.

“Actually, kidnapping and serious illegal detention are the same crime. All the elements of kidnapping are present,” Barbaso said.

Kiking’s aunt Bebe Estrada said on Tuesday she felt relieved seeing the arrest of the five suspects but she wants to know whether her nephew is dead or is still alive.

“Gusto namo nga itug-an nila unsay nahitabo sa akong pag-umangkon, kung buhi ba o patay na para kung patay na, among mahatagan sa maayong kapahulayan (We want them to reveal what happened to my nephew, if he’s still alive or dead, so that if he’s already dead, we can give him a proper resting place),” Estrada said.

Kiking’s parents, who have both seen the footage of the alleged kidnapping, earlier expressed hopelessness on the fate of their son.

They said Kiking may have been killed while inside the getaway vehicle as they were never contacted for ransom negotiations.

All five refused to talk to explain their side.