Police have arrested Apolonio Policarpio Marcelo Jr., ex-mayor and now barangay captain of Angat, Bulacan who allegedly masterminded the kidnapping and murder of a Chinese-Filipino businesswoman and her driver in Sta. Maria, Bulacan last March.
The suspect’s alleged cohorts, Ariel Sorospe, Oliver Elfa, Antonio Posos, and one alias Rommel, remain at large.
Marcelo was arrested after he was identified by his partner Adriano del Rosario who surrendered to the police and confessed his involvement in the crime.
Del Rosario identified Marcelo as the brains behind the kidnapping and murder of Edeltrudes Tan and her driver, Jayson Puyo, on March 25 in Barangay Pulong Yantok, Angat.
Reports said the group blocked Tan’s vehicle. Puyo ignored their order, forcing them to open fire and killing the two on the spot. The group then allegedly burned the bodies in a quarry site owned by Marcelo.
The kidnappers demanded US$2 million (P100 million) from Tan’s family for her release, but Tan’s husband refused to pay due to absence of proof that his wife and driver were still alive.
Tan’s husband reported the matter to the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group.
The victim’s family also sought the help of the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order who gave them constant advice and moral support.
The MRPO chairman architect Ka Kuen Chua and founding chairperson Teresita Ang See met with Tan’s family several times.
“Do not pay ransom if there’s no proof of life. Pray for the best but be prepared for the worst. Lift your burden up to God to allow you to accept things that cannot be changed,” the family was advised.
Tan’s family said the Angat police not only failed to help them but they also covered up the crime by cleaning up the place where the ambush took place and where Tan’s vehicle was abandoned.
Tan’s family said Marcelo owed them P6 million and she was persistent in collecting from him.
After Marcelo’s arrest, several Bulacan residents revealed that he owes them several tens of millions.
One of the checks in Tan’s possession was supposedly encashed by the barangay captain.
Tan’s family thanked AKG for their persistence in pursuing the case.
They also thanked the MRPO members who were with them throughout the ordeal. Ang See and Chua broke the news of Tan’s death to the family early morning June 2.
They grieve for the family matriarch who took care of the family and business after the father, Ruben Tan, was stricken ill and almost died.
Tan’s eldest daughter Melissa said they are, however, comforted that there is at least closure. “For two months, we prayed and hoped but it was difficult not knowing what happened to my mom,” she tearfully said.
Marcelo appeared for inquest before Department of Justice state prosecutor Olive Torrevillas.
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