Another ‘tokhang for ransom’ case bared
Sen. Panfilo Lacson disclosed on Wednesday that a Chinese-Filipino friend was also victimized in a “kidnap extortion” racket perpetrated by rogue cops, as he vowed to launch a legislative inquiry into the “tokhang for ransom” case involving a South Korean businessman first reported by the Inquirer.
Lacson, chair of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, said his friend was abducted in August last year under similar circumstances but was released after he personally coordinated the case with the Philippine National Police.
“I owe it to my friend that I myself should call for a Senate inquiry into the Korean’s kidnapping and all other similar abominable kidnap extort activities of rogue members of the PNP when session resumes on Monday,” he told the Inquirer.
The senator did not disclose the name of his friend but said the kidnapping involved members of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Luzon.
‘Fabricated drug activities’
Lacson, who is a former PNP chief and head of the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force, said his friend was taken “on the pretext of his fabricated drug activities.”
“Had I not interceded by literally pleading with his family to cooperate fully with a guarantee that he’d be safe, he could have suffered the fate of the recent Korean victim,” he said.
Lacson said he coordinated with Director Benjamin Magalong, PNP deputy chief for operations, who worked with the antikidnapping unit to solve the case.
The friend was released after ransom was paid by the family. The exchange, Lacson said, was “closely monitored by the PNP” and the suspects were led by a chief inspector, who “were all positively identified and were relieved under custodial investigation of the PNP.”
The suspects are undergoing preliminary investigation at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
He said he was not aware of the current status of the police officers involved, but reiterated an earlier comment that the PNP had been slow in acting on kidnap-extortion cases.
“My friend’s case happened in August. The summary dismissal proceedings should be finished by now,” he said.