Edsa traffic jam gave ‘chance’ to maul kidnap suspect | Inquirer News
From the files of QCPD

Edsa traffic jam gave ‘chance’ to maul kidnap suspect

/ 05:38 AM December 01, 2022
Handcuffs over fingerprinting forms. STORY: Edsa traffic jam gave ‘chance’ to maul kidnap suspect

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MANILA, Philippines — Street justice was swift, thanks to slow traffic.

Four people who had been allegedly kidnapped in Cavite province not only managed to break free but also beat up one of their abductors while they were all stuck in traffic on Edsa, Quezon City, on Tuesday.

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According to the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), the kidnap victims — three men and a woman — were on their way to Silang, Cavite, around 3:30 a.m. on Monday to see a parcel of land pawned by one Julian Paningbatan.

But before reaching Cavite, they were instructed to meet up first with Paningbatan’s still-unidentified associates — one to be picked up in Tondo, Manila, and another in Bicutan, Taguig City — who were supposed to accompany them to the property.

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Held at gunpoint

When finally in Silang, the victims were introduced to more people associated with Paningbatan, including Jose Rea, who turned out to be armed with a 9mm pistol.

With Rea holding the four victims at gunpoint, they were stripped of their valuables, bound and blindfolded, according to a QCPD report.

They were later forced into a vehicle and told to produce P2 million each for their release.

The captives were then brought back to Metro Manila the following day, with Rea and his cohorts in the same vehicle. But by the time they had reached Balintawak, Quezon City, around noon, some of the abductors had already disembarked along the way, leaving only Rea and the driver.

Opportunity

It was at this point, the QCPD said, that the victims managed to seize the gun from Rea, drag him out of the vehicle, and give him a beating in broad daylight in full view of other motorists and onlookers stuck in traffic near the LRT 1 Balintawak station.

Rea’s driver, who also remained unidentified, fled on foot.

Members of the QCPD Station 3 responded to the commotion and placed Rea under arrest.

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According to the police report, being “trapped in a traffic jam” on Edsa gave the victims “a chance to grab the firearm of Rea until they were able to hold the suspect.”

A manhunt operation has been launched against the driver and Rea’s other accomplices.

—ABBY BOISER

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