Criminal charges have been filed against eight Quezon City police officers and a dismissed officer in relation to the high-profile kidnapping incident on September 1 along EDSA in Manadaluyong City.
The kidnapping and robbery was hidden under the guise of a anti-drug operation by the officers with the victims being brought to the La Loma police station where they were detained for seven hours, before they were released. The suspects took PhP2-million in cash and valuables from the victims.
In a press conference at the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame this afternoon, Chief Superintendent Abelardo Villacorta of the Eastern Police District (EPD) said that charges for kidnapping with serious illegal detention and brigandage have been filed at the Mandaluyong Prosecutors Office. The EPD took Chief Inspector Joseph de Vera in custody after he admitted to the crime and named his accomplices.
Suspects still at large are:
- Dismissed Senior Inspector Marco Polo Estrera
- Senior Inspector Oliver Villanueva
- Senior Police Officer 1 Rameil Hachero
- PO2 Jonathan Rodriguez
- PO2 Weavin Masa
- PO2 Mark De Paz
- PO2 Jerome Datinguinoo
- PO2 Ebonn Decatoria
The incident went viral after a photo was posted on Twitter where armed men were pointing their guns at a white Toyota Fortuner which they had boxed in with their vehicles. Shown on the photo are a Honda Civic and a Toyota Hiace. Police used digital photo enhancement to identify the vehicles which apparently were personally owned by the suspects. The Hiace with conduction sticker number YF-9767 was owned by de Vera, while the Civic with plate ZJB-149 by Marco Polo Estrera.
According to Villacorta, the victims released around 9 in the evening on the same day after their Toyota Fortuner's rear glass was replaced allegedly in Banawe to cover up evidence and remove suspicion. The suspects erstwhile threatened to kill the victims if they report the incident to authorities.
Quezon City Police District Director Chief Superintendent Richard Albano also ordered the relief of La Loma station commander Osmundo de Guzman because of command responsibility.
PO2 Jonathan Rodriguez was later arrested while the press conference was going on.
Incidentally the Philippine National Police was celebrating the 20th National Crime Prevention Week from September 1-7.