Group of QC ‘tanod,’ ex-village councilor tagged in kidnapping
The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) has filed charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention against 16 suspects — including a former barangay councilor and four public safety officers — in the July 27 abduction of a driver-mechanic who has since remained missing.
The victim’s family members said they had also sought help from the Department of the Interior and Local Government, through Undersecretary Martin Diño, in locating 21-year-old Arnold Janssen Agustin and bringing his abductors to justice.
No record of arrest
The Agustins have accused former Barangay Commonwealth Councilor Crisanto Delima Jr., public safety officers Jayson Mahilom, Mark Gio Galang, Norman Madrid, Winston Navarro, and 11 John Does of having a hand in Agustin’s disappearance in the wee hours of July 27.
A report by Insp. Juan Mortel, QCPD investigation section chief, said Agustin was last seen leaving his house on Yellowbell Street, Commonwealth, to buy medicine for his child.
His family members later heard from neighbors that he was arrested by village security officers for reasons that were not immediately clear. The barangay government, however, showed no record of such an arrest when the family checked.
A resident later told the QCPD that she saw Agustin being accosted by a team of public safety officers or “tanod” at Commonwealth’s Base 2 area. The witness recognized Delima, Mahilom, Galang, Bordeos, Madrid and Navarro among the men who forced him into a patrol vehicle, according to Mortel’s report.
With a police manhunt underway, Barangay Commonwealth Chair Manuel Co on Wednesday called on Delima and the other suspects to surrender.
“They are already destroying the image of the barangay. If they did not do anything wrong, then they should come forward (to clear their names),” Co said. “I have assured the victim’s family that those responsible will be held liable. There will be no coverup.”
Navarro, one of the suspects, was tagged in a murder case in Barangay Payatas last year, according to Senior Insp. Elmer Monsalve, chief of the QCPD’s criminal and investigation detection unit.
A security camera footage obtained by the family showed a handcuffed Agustin being led away by a group that included Delima, Monsalve said in a report.
Last call: ‘Ma’
Marianne, Agustin’s mother, said she received a call from her son on the morning of July 28 but that he was only able to say “Ma” before the line was cut. She could no longer contact him afterwards.
“From the very start, I did not get any assistance from the barangay (regarding my missing son). They kept telling me that the barangay had no such operation, but there is a video. Looks like there’s a coverup,” she said. —WITH A REPORT FROM ALIANA LOIS DIAZ
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