By Anthony Giron
IMUS, Cavite—The Cavite Office of the Provincial Prosecutor Office has filed a kidnapping-for-ransom case against seven Las Piñas policemen for allegedly holding a 20-year-old student and demanding P30,000 cash his sister in Cavite in November last year.
Cavite Provincial Chief Prosecutor Gavino B. Mapanoo approved the resolution recommending charges against PO3 Joel Lupig, PO2 Vener Guanlao, PO1 Jeffrey De Leon, PO1 Mark Jefferson, PO1 Raymart Gomez. PO1 Erickson Rivera and PO2 Jayson Arellano.
Mapanoo recommended the dismissal of the complaint against a 13-year-old boy who reportedly ran errands for the suspects because he is a minor.
“The crime of kidnapping was sufficiently proven by the complainant. Respondents are police officers, however, their acts were not committed in furtherance of their functions and responsibilities. The circumstances surrounding the arrest of complainant are questionable and highly irregular. The kidnapping was clearly illegal and undertaken for the purpose of extorting ransom from complainant and his sister.,” Mapanoo noted in his resolution.
The seven policemen have not submitted counter-affidavits, the resolution said.
The complaint was filed by Cyrus Ligutan and his testimony was corroborated by his sister Shelane.
Lugutan was reportedly arrested on November 21 by Lupig and his group for illegal drug possession.
The officers placed him in a van as Lupig phoned Shelane demanding P200,000, later reducing the amount to P30,000.
Shelane reported the incident to the authorities and an entrapment led to the arrest of the 13-year-old.
It was the boy who was reportedly asked by Lupig to get the cash from Shelane. When the boy did not return, Lupig and his companions reportedly panicked and drove off with the van.
Ligutan was reportedly transferred to another vehicle before being dropped off in Molino, Bacoor City.
The complainant reportedly picked out the officers from photos presented to him at the Las Pinas police station.
The seven policemen surrendered in late November.
As a result of the the incident, Chief Supt. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, National Capital Region Police Office chief, sacked Sr. Supt. Marion Balolong, Las Piñas police chief; Senior Insp. Edgardo Tigbao, SDEU chief; and 36 policemen assigned at the SDEU.