“I never expected him to do this.”
This was the sentiment expressed by a cockpit manager in San Juan City as he narrated how his close friend kidnapped his family and demanded ransom for their release.
Loel Hayno, 43, a cockfighting arena manager, said he never imagined that his close friend, Ariel Vicencio—the son of former Malabon Mayor Amado Vicencio—would hatch such a plot in order to get money from him.
On Saturday afternoon, the San Juan police arrested six men, including Vicencio,
nearly 12 hours after his cohorts barged into Hayno’s house in Barangay (village) Tibagan, San Juan City, ransacked the place and took the victim’s wife and 4-year-old son.
Senior Supt. Rainier Espina, San Juan police chief, identified the five other men as Eduardson Soriano, 27; Rodel Legaspi, 30; Rodora Miranda, 23; Gerry Soriano; and Sally Boy San Diego, 28.
The six now face multiple charges, including kidnapping, serious illegal detention and illegal possession of firearms.
“We were still together on Friday night at a derby. [Vicencio] even hugged me and invited me to eat first [before we parted],” Hayno told reporters at a press conference on Sunday evening.
“Little did I know that, as one of the suspects told the police, he had been planning to do this for quite some time. But they could not find the right time to do it until now because I was always with some companions,” he said.
According to Hayno, he had just come home from a cockfight at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday when several men entered his house, tied him, his wife, son, mother and brother up.
“One of them even took my wife to the bathroom, took off his clothes and started touching her,” Hayno said. “I bargained with them so that they would not harm her.”
After ransacking the house, the men bundled Hayno, his wife and son into the businessman’s Mitsubishi Montero. They then dropped him off, along with
Gerry Soriano, in front of a bank at the boundary of San Juan and Quezon City so that he could withdraw money. After telling Hayno that he could have his family back for P1 million, the men drove away.
Hayno, with Soriano guarding him, then withdrew money from the bank but the police intercepted them after a barangay official who witnessed the commotion at the victim’s house tipped off authorities, according to Espina.
“Soriano later on cooperated with us as we pursued the suspects. He went as far as telling his cohorts that he had the ransom money so we could entrap them,” Espina said.
A second suspect, San Diego, was arrested in Marilao, Bulacan, based on the information provided by Soriano. He also agreed to cooperate with the police.
The rest of the group—Eduardson Soriano, Legaspi, Miranda and Vicencio—were arrested in a restaurant on MacArthur Highway in Valenzuela City, at 5:30 p.m. on the same day after San Diego arranged a meeting with them.
The victim’s wife and son were later recovered in front of a supermarket in the area.
Seized from the group were P198,500 in cash, two checks worth P60,000, a $50 bill, two firearms and two vehicles, Espina said.
Also recovered were drug paraphernalia, a police uniform, a digital camera and eight cell phones.
“The San Juan police are now preparing charges of robbery in band, kidnap for ransom, acts of lasciviousness, serious illegal detention, illegal possession of firearms, and car theft against the suspects,” Eastern Police District director Chief Supt. Miguel Laurel said.
As for Vicencio’s motive, Hayno could not think of any reason why his fellow cockpit manager would plot against him.
“I don’t have any grudge against him. In fact, I had been helping him whenever he was short on cash. I even lent him P130,000, of which he has yet to pay back P50,000. I know he is into drugs, so maybe that’s a motive. But I don’t have a grudge against him. We have a special friendship,” he said.
Despite this, he told reporters he was determined to pursue the case against Vicencio and his cohorts.
“I don’t want to implicate him but all the evidence and the other suspects point to him. I probably would not pursue the case had I been the only one hurt but my mom, brother, wife and child were dragged into this,” Hayno said.