2 get life for kidnap; ransom paid via ATM
They first demanded a whopping P70 million, before settling for P1.5 million—partially paid through ATM.
The Quezon City Regional Trial Court on Wednesday sentenced two men to life imprisonment for kidnapping a businessman four years ago.
Judge Henri Jean Paul Inting of the QC Regional Trial Court – Branch 95 pronounced Rayan Domla and Cristopher Nanson guilty of kidnapping Ka Kuen Chua, then a hardware store owner residing in Barangay Tandang Sora.
A third suspect, Christopher Olaguer, remained at large.
Chua was also a former official of the United Architects of the Philippines.
Court records showed that Domla and Nanson abducted Chua on Sept. 10, 2008, forcing the victim out of his car which was then parked in front of his house and shoving him into the kidnappers’ vehicle.
Seventeen days later, the victim was rescued from a house in Baranggay Gulod, Novaliches, by the Police Anti-Crime Emergency Response group (Pacer), the chief antikidnapping unit of the Philippine National Police.
Nanson was captured in the rescue operation while Domla was arrested later also in Novaliches.
In his court testimony, Chua recalled that shortly after he was taken captive, the kidnappers called his sister to demand a P70-million ransom but later agreed to have the amount reduced to P1.5 million
In the course of the negotiation, the victim said, the abductors already asked for small amounts to be deposited in Chua’s ATM (automated teller machine) account.
Before Chua was rescued, some P300,000 had already been sent to the kidnappers through the ATM, while the P1.2-million balance was hand-delivered.
“The testimony of the businessman-victim is credible and trustworthy. He testified in a calm, candid and straightforward manner,” Judge Inting noted in his decision.
The accused, on the other hand, “failed to present concrete evidence proving that they were in some other place other than the crime scene,” the judge added.
The court also ordered the two convicts to pay the victim and his family a total of P350,000 in damages.
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