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What Went Before: Dennis Roldan the kidnap mastermind

/ 05:19 AM August 27, 2014

Former actor and lawmaker Dennis Roldan. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Former actor and ex-Congressman Dennis Roldan—Mitchell Yap Gumabao in real life—was tagged as the mastermind in the kidnapping of a 3-year-old Chinese-Filipino boy in Pasig City on Feb. 9, 2005.

Initially, Roldan’s group asked for a ransom of P250 million but later reduced their demand to P3 million.

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On Feb. 20, 2005, a police antikidnapping unit rescued the boy from a couple hired to guard him. Roldan and his group were arrested the same day.

On March 3, 2005, the justice department filed kidnap-for-ransom charges against Roldan in the Pasig City Regional Trial Court.

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Suzette Wang, said to be the girlfriend of Roldan and who allegedly brought up the idea of kidnapping the son of her friend, and five others were formally charged with kidnapping the following month.

Accused with Roldan and Wang were Noel San Andres, Rowena San Andres, Romeo Orcajada, Octavio Garces and Adrian Domingo.

An eighth alleged member of the kidnap gang, Alberto Pagdanganan, was excluded from the case after he executed an affidavit pointing to the involvement of the seven accused in the kidnapping.

Not guilty pleas

In August 2005, Roldan pleaded not guilty to kidnap-for-ransom charges and immediately applied for bail. The other five accused also pleaded not guilty during their arraignment.

Wang, on the other hand, has remained at large and is believed to have fled the country.

On July 25, 2006, Roldan was allowed to post bail after almost a year of detention in Pasig City Jail.

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Judge Agnes Reyes-Carpio of the Pasig City RTC Branch 261 approved a bail bond of P500,000 for the actor. He walked out of jail two days later.

Kidnapping is a nonbailable offense but Carpio said the prosecution evidence presented so far in the trial against Roldan was weak. However, the judge denied bail for Roldan’s coaccused.

New judge

Carpio inhibited herself from the case on November 2006 after the prosecution team protested her decision to grant bail to Roldan but not to his coaccused. Judge Rodolfo Bonifacio of the Pasig City RTC Branch 159 took over the case.

Altogether, a total of five judges were assigned to handle the case. Four of them inhibited themselves, citing various reasons.

At the trial on Aug. 5, 2008, the victim positively identified Roldan as the man who kidnapped him and held him captive for several days in 2005.

On Feb. 14, 2012, Roldan, who claims he is now a full-time pastor with Jesus Christ the Life Giver Ministry Inc. based in Quezon City, testified that the Police Anti-Crime Emergency Response (Pacer) agents who tagged him as the mastermind were forced to fabricate the charges against him because they had to cover up their mistakes.

Garces and Pagdanganan also testified that they were ordered by Roldan and Wang to kidnap the boy. The boy was later rescued unharmed.

Roldan was known as an actor in action movies. He served as representative of Quezon City’s third district from 1992 to 1995.

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TAGS: Crime, Dennis Roldan, Kidnapping, Philippines
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