4 Le­tran stu­dents to face trial for kid­nap­ping

The Philippine Star - - METRO - By MARC JAYSON CAYABYAB

Four Cole­gio de San Juan de Le­tran stu­dents are set to face trial on charges of kid­nap­ping and se­ri­ous il­le­gal de­ten­tion in a sup­posed haz­ing rite gone wrong.

Jhulius Atabay, 19; Fer­di­nand dela Vega Jr., 20; Jus­tine Mahi­pus, 18, and Ralph Em­manuel Ca­maya, 20, were in­dicted af­ter Manila Re­gional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 19 Judge Marlo Mag­doza Mala­gar found prob­a­ble cause to hold them for trial on Aug. 17.

The judge set the hear­ings on the bail pe­ti­tion filed by the sus­pects on Oct. 31.

The sus­pects are de­tained at the Manila City Jail with no bail rec­om­mended.

They pled not guilty dur­ing their ar­raign­ment on Aug. 24 on the al­le­ga­tion that they kid­napped Den­zhel Alexan­dre Gomez, 19, while their school­mate was wait­ing for a bus near the Light Rail Tran­sit Line 1’s Cen­tral sta­tion in Manila on Aug. 1.

Gomez was wait­ing for a bus home with Atabay when he was al­legedly forced in­side a ve­hi­cle at gun­point and blind­folded be­fore be­ing taken to Dela Vega’s house, where he was tied up and de­tained un­til his res­cue by the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice Anti-Kid­nap­ping Group on Aug. 3.

The sus­pects al­legedly de­manded P30 mil­lion from Gomez’s fam­ily.

The sus­pects are from well-off fam­i­lies, with some of them re­sid­ing in Ay­ala Ala­bang Vil­lage, Muntinlupa.

The sus­pects were in­dicted and charged by the De­part­ment of Jus­tice prose­cu­tors be­fore the Manila RTC af­ter Mahi­pus con­fessed that he drove the ve­hi­cle that was used in kid­nap­ping Gomez.

In his af­fi­davit, Mahi­pus said the group had al­ready at­tempted snatch­ing the vic­tim in Intramuros in July and that the kid­nap­ping was an ini­ti­a­tion rite for a fra­ter­nity.

The sus­pect also tagged Atabay as the one who pre­tended to be a kid­nap vic­tim and con­tacted the fam­ily about the P30 mil­lion ran­som money that was later re­duced to P20 mil­lion.

The charges against the other sus­pects – Eriek Cand­aba, Gabriel Rabi, Billy Rocillo, Arvi Ve­lasquez, Miguel Aus­tria, and Kim Pas­cua – re­main pend­ing be­fore the pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice for pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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