MANILA, Philippines — The police Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) has filed charges against seven persons for kidnapping and holding a 21-year-old Filipino-Chinese man for a P200-million ransom in Quezon City on New Year’s Eve.
Charges of kidnapping for ransom and serious illegal detention were filed before the Department of Justice against Ma. Rachel Erica Gonzales, her husband Jhon Paolo Gonzales, Emil Ocampo, Paquito Gabad, Laurence Limbo, an alias Mate and an alias Boy.
Gonzales was arrested on Jan. 6 at Camp Crame in Quezon City. She was initially invited by the AKG when investigators learned she owned the van used in the kidnapping, but was placed under arrest when the victim identified her as one of his captors.
Another suspect, Limbo, was arrested in Barangay San Pascual in Obando, Bulacan at around 11 p.m. on Monday.
The AKG, in a statement yesterday, tagged Gonzales as the mastermind in the victim’s kidnapping in Barangay Mariana on Dec. 31 at around 1:30 p.m.
The victim was riding his bicycle when six men forced him inside the van and brought him to an undisclosed location.
AKG director Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo said the suspects initially demanded P200 million as ransom but reduced it to P1.5 million after a series of negotiations with the victim’s family.
The suspects released the victim last Jan. 5 at around 9:35 p.m. in Ermita, Manila after ransom was paid in Bustos, Bulacan.
Estomo said they identified Gonzales as the owner of their getaway van through the vehicle’s license plate.
According to Estomo, the suspects had another target but the operation did not materialize so they opted for another victim.
“They though the victim’s family was rich so they initially asked for P200 million,” he said.