PNP ready kidnapping raps vs militant group
THE Philippine National Police (PNP) is preparing the filing of kidnapping charges against the militant group that took custody of the 14-year-old male witness who survived the gruesome murder of nine farmers in Sagay City, Negros Occidental.
Senior Superintendent Rodolfo Castil Jr., director of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo), said yesterday they are seeking the advice of their legal officer about the filing of the case but all the needed documents are now being prepared by the Sagay City Police Station.
This came after the father of the minor-witness revealed to the members of the media on October 27 that Karapatan-negros “forcibly” took the custody of his son by using his estranged wife.
He also alleged that his estranged wife and son are allegedly being kept in an undisclosed place in the province against his will and he is prevented to communicate with them.
The father, whose name was withheld by authorities, wanted to have the custody of his son, who was initially placed in the Sagay City Police Station for security reasons, but was turned over to the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) since he needed to undergo a series of debriefing to cope with the traumatic incident on the killings of nine farmers in Bulanon village on October 20.
On October 25, the minor was turned over by the CSWD to his mother through the assistance of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) after the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) claimed the child was “illegally arrested,” an allegation that was earlier denounced by Nocppo.
The action of the group made the police questioned their real motive.
“Instead of joining the police in pursuing the victims, they hamper our investigation by taking away our witnesses and discouraging other family members from cooperating in the filing of the case,” said Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, regional director of Police Regional Office (Pro)-western Visayas.
Meanwhile, Castil said they recommended with the higher office to provide the families of the nine victims with a lawyer who will focus only on their case.
On October 26, NFSW organizer Rene Manlangit and another alleged recruiter Rogelio Arquillo, and seven John Does were charged with multiple murder for the massacre of the nine farmers following the statement and testimonies provided by the eight complainant-witnesses to the authorities.
The two NFSW members who allegedly connived with the assailants through the recruitment of the victims remain at large.
Castil said the eight witnesses are safe but they will still try to place them under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) to ensure their safety.*