2 get life terms in prison for kidnap-slay of Uratex owner, cop in 2001
MANILA — The Department of Justice said on Wednesday it recently secured the conviction of two men accused of kidnapping and killing a manager of the foam bed manufacturer Uratex Philippines and a policeman who had been assigned as her bodyguard, nearly 15 years ago.
In a statement, DOJ Acting Secretary Emmanuel Caparas commended state prosecutor Hjalmar Quintana Jr. as well as the previous prosecutors who handled the case.
In the criminal information filed against them, Rolando Villaver and Florante Concepcion were accused of kidnapping Connie Wong, manager of Uratex and sister of its owner; her driver Arcangel Barquilla Jr.; and PO1 Dionisio Burca Jr. Villaver and Concepcion demanded P50 million from Wong’s husband, Manuel, for their safe release.
The victims were traversing Mauban Street in Barangay Manresa, Quezon City, on Oct. 1, 2001, when their car was blocked by a van out of which alighted seven armed men, including Villaver and Concepcion.
Wong, Burca and Barquilla were held in the suspect’s hideout for three days. Manuel was unable to raise the ransom being demanded, saying he could only give P300,000 and that his wife’s sister could not help them because they did not have good relations.
Villaver and Concepcion brought the victims to Valenzuela City and shot them. Only Barquilla survived and later positively identified the kidnappers during police investigation and during the trial in court.
During their trial, the accused offered alibis and denied involvement in the crime. Villaver said he was in his Pasacao, Camarines Sur, and Concepcion said he was in Balagtas, Bulacan.
Concepcion, who admitted being a former driver at Uratex, said he only read about Wong’s death in the papers. Villaver said he learned of the charge against him for the first time when he was arrested in December 2001 while tending to his fishpond in Talisay, Batangas.
The Quezon regional trial court judge sentenced the two to life imprisonment after finding them guilty beyond reasonable doubt of kidnapping for ransom, double murder, attempted murder and carnapping. They were also ordered to pay Wong and Burca’s heirs up to P774,000 as indemnity; for actual, moral and exemplary damages, as well as loss of earning capacity. SFM
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