PNP-AKG rescues 3 Chinese nationals from kidnap-for- ransom group

Maris Federez   •   December 14, 2019   •   398

The Philippine National Police-Anti Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG) has confirmed the rescue of three Chinese nationals from a kidnap for ransom group in Bacoor, Cavite on Friday (December 13).

The victims, namely, Pham ThiTu, Zhang Juanzi, Shen Wenhui were allegedly raped by the suspects who are also Chinese nationals.

The rescue led to the arrest of the six suspects.

A statement sent to the media on Saturday said PNP-AKG teams led by PMaj. Cesar Nuñez Jr and PMaj. Edgar Pablico, together with the PNP Bacoor under PLtCol. Villaflor Bannawagan conducted the rescue after receiving reports from the partners of the victims.

The first complaint came from Huafeng Du on Dec. 12 regarding the abduction of his girlfriend, Pham.

He said the kidnappers demanded 200,000 RMB in exchange for the release of his girlfriend.

The second complaint was filed by Chang Hsiang Hao on December 11, reporting that his girlfriend Zhang Juanzi left on December 10 at around 11:00 PM but has not returned home since.

He said he received a WeChat message from the victim’s account on December 11 asking for Php 700,000 which he sent through an online payment app. However, the kidnapper did not release the victim but demanded instead for another Php 700,000 on December 12.

The third victim named Shen Wenhui was abducted inside Okada Hotel at around 10:00 in the evening on December 12 and was brought to the said place in Bacoor, Cavite. /mbmf

2 Bilibid convicts behind grisly killing of ex-Batangas solon – PNP

Robie de Guzman   •   January 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Two convicts detained at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) allegedly orchestrated the grisly killing of former Batangas Representative Edgar Mendoza and his two aides, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Thursday.

PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group director Brig. Gen. Joel Coronel identified the principal suspect as Sherwin Sanchez, who has been imprisoned since 2015 for murder charges.  

Investigation revealed that Sanchez was a client of Mendoza, a lawyer who handled his transactions concerning financial and properties.

Sanchez did not pay Mendoza for his services after the former was convicted.

Sanchez allegedly conspired with his fellow detainee, Arthur Fajardo, to have Mendoza killed.

Fajardo, a member of the Fajardo kidnap-for-ransom group who has been detained at the state penitentiary since 2005, then contacted his wife, Jael, who allegedly hired the killers.

Mendoza and his companions, bodyguard Nicanor Mendoza and driver Ruel Ruiz, were found burnt inside the former solon’s car in Tiaong, Quezon Province on January 9.

The day before they were killed, Mendoza and his aides went to the home of the family of Fajardo in Calamba, Laguna supposedly to collect a sum of money owed by Sanchez.

“Apparently, on the day he disappeared, and later on found dead, he was supposed to collect a sum of money from representatives of the principal suspect in Calamba,” Coronel said.

Investigation showed that Sanchez and Mendoza had disagreements on the amount for his legal services but later agreed on a sum amounting to millions of pesos.

However, Sanchez had no intention of paying the amount from the start and instead hired some gunmen to kill Mendoza. He allegedly contracted the killers for the sum of P100,000.

“There was a disagreement on the amount to be collected and also base on the revelations of the witnesses and some of the suspects’ confession, there was really no intention on the part of the suspect to the amount agreed by them,” Coronel said.

Police identified Sanchez and Fajardo’s cohorts as Jael Fajardo, Arthur’s wife; Madonna Palermo, Jael’s household worker; Kristine Fernandez, Jael’s errand runner; Carlo Acuña and Erickson Balbastro who were said to be members of the Fajardo kidnap-for-ransom group.

The five suspects were arrested by authorities on January 22.

Police found that prior to their murder, Mendoza and his aides were drugged with coffee laced with sleeping pills while they were in Fajardo’s home. They were later stabbed and struck in the head with a hard object.

The three victims were already dead when their remains were brought and burned in Tiaong, based on Balbastro’s statement.

Coronel said the suspects’ target was only Mendoza and that the two aides were “collateral damage.”

Police said they are hunting down a certain Rodel Mercado, said to be the one who stabbed and struck the victims.

PNP chief Archie Gamboa said three counts of murder have been filed against the suspects.

“This case is considered solved and it is now elevated in the prosecution office arm of the justice system,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

PNP to pull out cops deployed in Taal 14-km danger zone

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2020

Philippine police (L) advise citizens of restricted access implemented in a community affected by ash deposits after an eruption of Taal Volcano, in Agoncillo town, Batangas province, south of Manila, Philippines 14 January 2020. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – Police officers deployed within the 14-kilometer permanent danger zone around the restive Taal Volcano will be pulled out, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Wednesday.

PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said the directive was based on the advisory of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) due to the persisting danger it presents despite weakening volcanic activities.

“Ilalabas na natin ang mga pulis beyond the circumferential line, meron tayong mga risk control point na itatalaga at doon lamang mananatili ang mga pulis natin para na rin sa safety ng mga pulis,” he said.

Banac assured that policemen will continue to secure evacuation centers and areas on lockdown amid the Taal Volcano unrest.

The PNP official also urged remaining holdouts to flee their homes for their own safety following reports of residents ignoring the risks and government advisory to try to go home to fetch their belongings.

Taal Volcano remains under alert level 4, which means that a hazardous eruption may occur within hours or days. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

5 suspects in murder of ex-Batangas solon now under police custody

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Five suspects in the killing of former Batangas 2nd District Rep. Edgar Mendoza and two others are now under police custody, authorities said Wednesday.

Police Brig. Gen. Joel Coronel, director of Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP CIDG), said one of the apprehended suspects was identified as the mastermind of the crime.

The charred remains of Mendoza and two others, identified as his bodyguard Roel Ruiz and his driver Nicanor Mendoza, were found inside a burnt car in Tiaong town in Quezon Province on January 9.

Mendoza reportedly left his home to meet someone in Calamba, Laguna on the day he died. He was last seen with his driver and aide on January 7 in Lipa, Batangas.

His family reported him missing when he failed to return home.

Coronel said the motive in the grisly murder appears to be connected to financial and legal disputes.

A lawyer by profession, Mendoza handled cases related to real estate and properties after his stint in Congress.

Coronel said the arrested suspects will be face murder charges. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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