Amid reports of a resurgence of kidnapping, police arrested last week eight men who were holding for ransom a 43-year-old Filipino-Chinese businesswoman. The eight were arrested in raids in Metro Manila that also led to the rescue of the victim. An initial ransom payment of P224,500 was paid to the kidnappers, who reportedly demanded P1 million more, prompting the victim’s relatives to seek police help. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the kidnapping gang included two cops, one of them the suspected mastermind, Inspector Carlito Ugat. The police officer is retired while the other cop, Elisio Villarino, has been dismissed from the service. Members of the Police Anti-Crime Emergency Response or PACER said the gang, believed to be a splinter group of the “Ilonggo-Waray” band of kidnappers, could also be responsible for the abduction of a businessman two weeks ago. The businessman has not been released. Almost every major criminal group in this country seems to include a soldier or cop retired, dismissed from the service, AWOL or even on active duty. This is not surprising since members of the uniformed services are in the best position to know how law enforcers operate and therefore how to get away with breaking the law. Full Story
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