Crime group operates from NBP
The New Bilibid Prison (NBP) continues to be a base of operations of crime syndicates, including one involved in the kidnapping of a Chinese national on June 24 which was orchestrated from inside the cell of its mastermind, a kidnapping convict, the head of the police unit fighting kidnapping said.
Senior Supt. Glenn Dumlao, chief of the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group, said accomplices of convict Tyrone Resurreccion de la Cruz, who is detained at the NBP in Muntinlupa, were still at large and included a former policeman who faced drug trafficking cases but was out after paying P800,000 in bail.
De la Cruz is serving a life sentence.
In a press conference on Monday at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Dumlao said the dismantling of De la Cruz’s operations from inside the NBP did not stop with the arrest of four of his accomplices during the rescue of their latest victim, businessman Huang Bo Yu.
On June 24, three of De la Cruz’s men, unidentified at that time, broke into Yu’s steel trading store in Cabuyao City, Laguna province, taking P70,000 in cash and bringing Yu with them.
Yu was rescued in a sting operation disguised as a P2.5-million ransom payoff in Canlubang, Laguna, on June 27 during which four of De la Cruz’s men — Ronald G. Piloton, Joseph M. Hibek, Michael T. Austria and Jowie A. Talagsad — were arrested.
Dumlao said De la Cruz even negotiated ransom in Yu’s case despite him serving time at the national penitentiary for the kidnapping of a couple in 2017.
De la Cruz was arrested in December 2017 after being wounded in a car chase and gunfight with police.
Smuggled cell phones
De la Cruz, who has four other pending criminal complaints against him not only for kidnapping but also robbery, is currently detained in the NBP’s maximum security compound in the building for the Sputnik gang.
Yet “he was able to continue kidnapping activities because he was able to smuggle in cell phones,” said Dumlao.
The cell phones had already been confiscated from De la Cruz by the police, in coordination with the Bureau of Corrections, which is now headed by former PNP chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.
De la Cruz had initially demanded P15 million in ransom for Yu.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.