THE Philippine National Police (PNP) has yet to receive any formal complaints in relation to the kidnapping of a woman in Makati City on Monday evening, December 9.
Lieutenant Colonel Jowel Saliba, spokesperson of the PNP-Anti Kidnapping Group (AKG), said they learned about the incident only through social media.
He said they will launch an independent investigation into the incident.
The Makati City Police earlier confirmed the incident, which happened shortly before Monday midnight along the Paseo de Roxas road in Makati City.
A video clip circulated on social media showed the woman screaming and asking for help as several men forced her to get inside a van.
Makati police investigations chief Major Gideon Ines said police found documents and identification cards at the scene.
He said they were still tracking the perpetrators.
Meanwhile, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Brigadier General Debold Sinas said he suspected that the incident was debt-related just like other kidnapping incidents involving Chinese nationals.
According to the AKG, a total of 43 kidnapping incidents related to casino debts were recorded from January to November 2019.
Saliba said majority of the victims as well as the suspects in the kidnapping cases were Chinese nationals.
The modus operandi is that Chinese nationals entice fellow countrymen to visit casinos set up by Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogo) in the Philippines.
While in the casino, the victims are encouraged to take out loans from the perpetrators. When the victims fail to pay up, they are kidnapped and used as leverage so the suspects can collect the money owed to them from the victim's family.
Saliba said such incidents are usually settled amicably by both parties. (SunStar Philippines)