CRIMINAL Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Director Major General Eliseo Cruz said Monday, March 21, 2022, that four witnesses tagged five policemen in the abduction of an e-sabong master agent from his residence in San Pablo, Laguna in August 2021.

During the resumption of Senate inquiry into the missing sabungeros, Cruz said the witnesses identified the cops, who were all members of the Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB), through photos.

Cruz said they are currently consolidating the pieces of evidence and sworn statements of the witnesses for the filing of charges.

Princess Lasco, the wife of missing person Ricardo Lasco, said on August 30, 2021, that at least 10 armed men who introduced themselves as members of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) took her husband, claiming he has an arrest warrant for estafa.

The witnesses, including Lasco, her mother, sister and cousin, said the armed men took some of their valuables, including a vault containing cash, cellphones, wallets and jewelries.

They all positively identified one of the cops involved in the incident as Patrolman Roy Navarete, assigned at the Laguna PIB, who was present during the hearing Monday, March 21.

Navarete denied involvement in the incident, saying he was conducting a checkpoint inspection.

Navarete was also tagged in the alleged illegal arrest of two sabungeros from a cockpit arena in Sta. Cruz, Laguna in 2020.

On March 18, the CIDG filed charges of serious illegal detention and kidnapping against eight identified security personnel of the Manila Arena and several others over the disappearance of John Claud Inonog, Marlon Baccay and his brother James, Mark Joseph Velsco, Rondel Cristorum and Rowel Gomez, all from Tanay, Rizal on January 13.

The CIDG is currently investigating eight incidents involving the disappearances of 34 sabungeros in separate occasions in Laguna, Manila and Batangas.

Philippine National Police Chief Dionardo Carlos said to ensure the presence and cooperation of the cops tagged in the incident, they will be restricted in Camp Crame. (SunStar Philippines)