Police major, 3 others nabbed for kidnapping Chinese nationals

MANILA. DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos presents the four suspects, all police personnel, in the kidnapping for ransom and attempted abduction of four Chinese tourists.
MANILA. DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos presents the four suspects, all police personnel, in the kidnapping for ransom and attempted abduction of four Chinese tourists. Photo by Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

FOUR active members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were arrested due to their involvement in the kidnapping-for-ransom of two tourist Chinese nationals and the attempted abduction of two others in Pasay City over the weekend.

In a press conference in Camp Crame on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, Interior and Local Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. presented the arrested suspects identified as Police Major Christel Carlo Villanueva and Staff Sergeant Ralph Tumanguil, who were assigned at the Pasay City Police Station; Police Master Sergeant Ricky Tabora from the National Capital region Police Office (NCRPO); and Police Senior Master Sergeant Angelito David from the Makati City Police Station.

Abalos said that on the midnight of June 2, victims Yang Zhuan Zhuan, Meng Zhao, Zhi Yi Xuan, all Chinese nationals, and Tang Heng Fei, a Malaysian national, who were then aboard a high-end vehicle, were flagged down by two motorcycles, one of which has blinkers, along Taft Avenue in Pasay City.

One of the motorcycle riders asked the driver, Meng, to present his driver’s license.

A van suddenly appeared and its occupants alighted and handcuffed the victims.

Meng and Yang were able to escape and sought help, prompting the police, particularly the Anti-Kidnapping Group, to launch an investigation.

Abalos said the two victims were released after paying a ransom worth P2.5 million.

The suspects were arrested during the conduct of a follow-up operation on the morning of June 3.

Abalos said 10 more suspects who were all civilians, including the two alleged masterminds, were still at large.

They were charged with kidnapping-for-ransom and robbery with carnapping and underwent an inquest proceeding before the Pasay City court.

Abalos said it was found that one of the motorcycles used by the suspects to flag down the victims were PNP issued.

“Well, lumalabas sindikato na nga ito. This is a syndicate dahil tingnan mo more than two or three who grouped themselves for a common illegal purpose. We could term this as a syndicate, the way that our investigation is ongoing ganun nga,” he said.

“Ang masaklap talaga rito, of course, may mga sibilyan, kita niyo (police) major…tapos kung saan-saan galing (ang mga pulis), iba-iba ang lugar, may Pasay, Makati, Manila, so para talagang pinili. Kitang-kita mo… biruin mo ‘yung ginamit pa mga motor ng gobyerno. Ganun ka blatant itong mga taong ito kaya nga ito ay modus na ito ang talagang tinitingnan ngayon,” he added.

(The really bad thing here is, of course, there are civilians, a (police) major...then (the police) come from everywhere, different places, there are Pasay, Makati, Manila, so they were really chosen. You see... they even used government motorcycles. These people are so blatant, that's why this modus operandi is really being looked at now.)

PNP Chief General Rommel Marbil assured that the police suspects who taint the image of the national police agency “will die in jail.”

“Malaking babala ito sa mga taong gumagawa (This is a warning for all those involved) and we will not in any way be forgiving. Lahat ng pulis na involve, wala na tayo patawad at hindi tayo magpapatawad and we will make sure na itong mga tao na ito (All the police involved, we will not forgive them and we will make sure that these people), they will die in prison. Sisiguraduhin natin yan (We will makes sure of that),” he said.

“Possibly, talagang sindikato talaga kasi nagsama-sama yan (This is probably a syndicate). What we are looking for is sino ‘yung mastermind and ang sinasabi nga natin based doon sa initial report, may civilian na mastermind na at large pa that we are looking for,” he added. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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