3 Laguna cops indicted for ‘e-sabong’ kidnapping, robbery
The Department of Justice (DOJ) will file kidnapping and robbery charges against three of the five Laguna police officers who were implicated by the Philippine National Police in the abduction last year of one of the 34 missing “e-sabong” players.
On Monday, the DOJ said a panel of prosecutors found “probable cause” to charge Police Staff Sergeant Daryl Paghangaan and Patrolmen Roy Navarete and Regil Brosas for robbery and the kidnapping of Ricardo Lasco, one of the missing online “sabungeros” (cockfighting players).
The three police officers are members of the Laguna provincial police’s provincial intelligence branch (PIB).
The DOJ prosecutors, however, dismissed “for lack of probable cause” the same charges filed by the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) against Lt. Henry Sasaluya and Master Sergeant Michael Claveria, also members of the Laguna police PIB.
The DOJ said the indictment was issued on Nov. 25. The three police officers will be charged before the San Pablo City Regional Trial Court.
According to the DOJ, the prosecutors established that Lasco was forcibly taken from his residence in San Pablo City, Laguna, last Aug. 30, 2021, by a group of armed men due to the large-scale estafa filed against Lasco.
The armed men, who claimed to be National Bureau of Investigation agents, reportedly also took several valuables from the four women who were in Lasco’s house at the time.
Alibis not credible
The city prosecutor’s office of San Pablo City had dismissed for “insufficient evidence” the complaint filed by Princess Montanez, Gilda Montanez, Honey Lyn Sason and Elaine Montanez.
However, the PNP CIDG investigated the case and identified five of the armed men who arrested Lasco as the above police officers, based on the statement of the complainants.
The DOJ panel did not find credible the alibis made by police officers Paghangaan, Navarete and Brosas who will be charged with robbery and kidnapping.
According to the DOJ, Justice Secretary Jesus Remulla recently met with the families of the missing “sabungeros” and officials of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the NBI and the PNP.
“Secretary Remulla assured them that the DOJ, DILG, NBI and PNP would work together for a swift investigation, resolution and prosecution of the case,” it said. INQ