Kidnap victim Huang Bo Yu, 30, has been rescued, the P2.5 million ransom paid recovered. But the most unsettling aspect to this crime was that the alleged mastermind of the abduction is already in a maximum security prison.
The four suspects arrested – Ronald Piloton, Joseph Hibek, Michael Austria and Jowie Talagsad – said they took orders from convicted kidnapper Tyrone dela Cruz to kidnap Huang Bo Yu, said chief Senior Superintendent Glenn Dumlao of the police Anti-Kidnapping Group.
They were captured on June 27, three days after the kidnapping of Huang, owner of Star Stainless Store in Cabuyao, Laguna, on June 24. Eight other suspects remain at large.
Unidentified gunmen barged into the store, hogtied everyone including Huang and customer Gerry Rabina. They took Rabina’s wallet, containing P15,000, and the store’s earnings of P70,000.
The kidnappers initially demanded P15 million but settled for P2.5 million. Police monitored phone calls as the family negotiated the ransom, and wondered why the kidnappers had two negotiators.
They eventually traced one of them to Dela Cruz in National Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.
Dumlao said Dela Cruz allegedly planned Huang’s kidnapping in prison, with his cohorts posing as visitors. Hidden cellphones used by Dela Cruz were smuggled in by a retiring Bureau of Corrections inspector in exchange for P6,000 per unit, says BuCor chief Ronald dela Rosa.
Dumlao said Dela Cruz’s alleged right hand, Marlon Sangalang, a policeman dismissed in 2008 on drug charges, “was arrested in Calamba, Laguna on Feb. 18 for illegal drugs but immediately posted P800,000 bail bond… in cash.”
Police is investigating why Sangalang was able to post bail.
Dela Cruz also masterminded two other kidnapping cases in 2013.
Appellate court affirms Roldan kidnap conviction
The Court of Appeals has affirmed a Pasig City court’s ruling that found former actor and congressman Dennis Roldan, Mitchell Gumabao in real life, 61, guilty of kidnapping 3-year-old Kenshi Yu in 2005.
In a 17-page decision released on June 22, the court’s 14th Division denied Roldan’s appeal, and “affirmed in toto” the Aug. 26, 2014 decision of Pasig City Regional Trial Court Branch 167 Judge Rolando Mislang.
The CA believes the “prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused through testimonial and documentary evidence.”
The decision was penned by Associate Justice Ronaldo Roberto Martin and concurred by Ricardo Rosario and Eduardo Peralta Jr., who said that “after an exhaustive review of the records, this Court finds that all the elements of kidnapping are present in the case at bar.”
Court records showed that Roldan’s common-law wife Suzette Wang was friends with Yu’s parents Roger and Jennie. On Jan. 9, 2005, Roldan hired Albert Pagdanganan, through Octavio Garces, to kidnap Yu.
Pagdanganan recruited Rowena San Andres and Adrian Domingo. They met with Wang, who went with them to Yu’s school to identify the child.
Yu was kidnapped on Feb. 9, 2005, while he and his nanny were on the way to his school. The kidnappers demanded P250 million in ransom from the boy’s mother.
After days of negotiation, the victim’s family agreed to pay P3 million. Yu was rescued by PACER operatives on Feb. 20, 2005.
Mislang sentenced Roldan to life in prison, without eligibility for parole. He also ordered Roldan and his fellow accused to pay the victim P100,000 as civil indemnity, P100,000 as moral damages and P100,000 as exemplary damages.