MANILA, Philippines—A Philippine policeman has been detained in connection with the kidnapping and murder of a woman after he was caught on camera driving the victim’s vehicle, an official said on Tuesday.
Authorities are also searching for two other officers in what is the latest embarrassment for the country’s law enforcers, struggling to fight off widespread perceptions of corruption.
The trio were caught on camera driving the sports utility vehicle of Lea Angeles Ng, wife of a shopping mall executive, into a secured parking lot near Manila on the day she vanished, national police spokesman Agrimero Cruz said.
“We beg the bereaved family to bear with the often tedious process of criminal investigation and police procedures that are being conducted to establish an airtight case against those responsible for this crime,” he said.
A fourth suspect, a civilian, has also been arrested and confessed to the crime, which led police to the woman’s already decomposing remains last week, Cruz told reporters.
The footage shows Superintendent Rommel Miranda, deputy police chief in the central Philippines, and two lower-ranked officers, Otelio Santos and Jifford Signap, leaving Ng’s vehicle in the parking lot, Cruz said.
Santos and Signap are both listed as having gone on unauthorized leave while Miranda has been detained, Cruz added.
Earlier this month, Philippine authorities ordered the arrest of 10 Manila policemen who went into hiding after being accused of kidnapping four South Korean tourists. Officials said the victims were freed after a ransom was paid.
In January, the head of the justice department’s National Bureau of Investigation was sacked for allegedly covering up the kidnapping for ransom of a Japanese woman by his aides.