PNP committed to finding justice for missing sabungeros

The Philippine National Police on Sunday night maintained it is committed to searching for the missing sabungeros (cockfighting aficionados) and jail the suspects behind their disappearance. “The PNP remains steadfast in their search for the missing sabungeros as suspects in the case have been issued warrants of arrest,” PNP public information chief Col. Redrico Maranan said. The case of the missing sabungeros involves the kidnapping of six victims — James E. Baccay, Marlon E. Baccay, Rondel F. Cristorum, Mark Joseph L. Velasco, John Claude Venson Inonog and Rowel Gomez that transpired at the Manila Arena in Sta. Ana, Manila on Jan. 13, 2022. Recently, a 15-page joint resolution was released by the Department of Justice (DOJ) disclosing that state prosecutors found probable cause to indict the six suspects for six counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code. The suspects are Julie Patidongan, Gleer Codilla, Mark Carlo Zabala, Virgilio Bayog, Johnry Consolacion and Roberto Matillano Jr. However, the complaint against Jonas A. Alingasa and Herolden Alonto was dismissed for insufficiency of evidence. According to the resolution, prosecutors considered the testimonies of witnesses and CCTV footages from different barangays that showed the continuity of the forcible abduction. The victims’ cell phone conversation with their kin during the time they were abducted, the testimony of a witness who identified the suspects, CCTV footage showing a black and a gray van followed by a silver Toyota Wigo that left the Manila Arena, the short lapse of time as shown in the CCTV footage, and the victims’ disappearance since the abduction were all cited as circumstances that may prove the suspects’ guilt. The case of Inonog, Baccay brothers, Cristorum, Velasco, and Gomez is one of the eight cases handled by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Special Investigation Task Group (CIDG-SITG) ‘Sabungero’. The SITG “Sabungero” encourages everyone with information regarding the case to come forward and help in the investigation. Meanwhile, PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. reassured the victims’ families and the nation that the investigation would continue until the truth is uncovered. “We will not stop until justice is served for the victims and their families. We have identified the suspects and the court issued warrants of arrests against them. We urge the suspects to surrender peacefully and face the charges because the PNP will not stop until they are all accounted for,” he added

Source: Philippines News Agency