6 nabbed over the kidnapping of cockfight gamers in Manila
MANILA, Philippines — Six people were apprehended on Friday afternoon over their alleged involvement in the kidnapping of six missing cockfight aficionados or ‘sabungeros’ in Manila Arena in Sta. Ana district, the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced.
PNP chief General Benjamin Acorda said the six suspects were arrested by the Criminal Investigation Detection Group (CIDG) at around 1:45 pm.
“We hope that their arrest will give assurance to the families that the PNP have not reneged on their commitment to pursue this case until justice is served,” Across said in a press conference.
Acorda identified the six suspects as Julie Patindongan, Dondon Mark Carlo Zabala, Virgilio Bayog, Roberto Matillano Jr., Johnry Consolacion, and Gleer Codilla.
The six suspects were allegedly involved in the disappearance of James Baccay, Marlon Baccay, Claude Inonog, Mark Joseph Velasco, Rowel Gomez, and Rondel Cristorum.
Police Col. Jack Malinao, chief of the regional field unit of the CIDG in Calabarzon, said the six suspects, who were arrested in their safe house, had been switching locations to evade arrest.
“Based on their assessment, that is their safe house,” Malinao said in a press conference.
“They’ve been transferring from different places, it is very challenging,” he added.
The government offered a bounty of P6 million, or P1 million each for the six suspects involved in the case.
Malinao said the reward money will now be given to informants.
The Department of Justice filed six counts of kidnapping and illegal detention against the six suspects.
Meanwhile, also arrested were the companions of six suspects identified as Melchor Neri and Victorino Jocosol, according to Acorda.
Acorda said Neri and Jocosol were arrested for alleged obstruction of justice, but their involvement remains unclear.