Community News Kidnap Watch

On James Yap KFR: Statement from Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order

The Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order on January 12 issued a statement, signed by its chairperson Ka Kuena Chua and founding chair Teresita Ang See, regarding the December 2020 kidnapping of James Yap.

Yap, 21, was safely released on Jan. 6. He was kidnapped on Dec. 31 in New Manila and was released after one-week of captivity. The MRPO expresses its gratitude to the many people responsible for Yap’s safe release.

First, to the Yap Family who reached out to MRPO to ask for assistance. It was MRPO which linked the family with Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) and encouraged them to fully cooperate to ensure the safe release of the victim and achieve breakthrough in solving the case.

Second, to AKG Director PBGen Jonnel C. Estomo and his men who worked hard to assist the family through MRPO until leads were obtained and the victim was safely released. The AKG also apprehended Ma. Rachel Erica Gonzales, who was present in the kidnapping. She is the wife of the mastermind, Jhon Paolo Gonzales.

Third, we also thank the Chinese media and our many friends and acquaintances, who cooperated in NOT disseminating the initial video and many false information that might have spread like wildfire, as MRPO requested. As MRPO emphasized, if false, the info creates unnecessary panic; If true, it endangers the life of the victim.

We call on the others who relished spreading the information, even if unverified at that time, to refrain from doing that in the future. It is irresponsible and dangerous. The MRPO experienced past cases when kidnappers panicked when they saw that the incident was already revealed.

We are confident that the manhunt against Jhon Paolo Gonzales, the mastermind, will succeed soon. We encourage him to just surrender.

The MRPO also requests AKG to exercise prudence in their press statements, avoid releasing vital operational details so as not to jeopardize future cases. The MRPO did not share the news on the victim’s release because the manhunt for the mastermind was ongoing.

The MRPO continues to assist in kidnapping cases since it the group was formed in 1993 after kidnap victim Charlene Sy was killed. We do not look forward to new cases and always pray that our members will not increase in numbers.

In the face of challenges, many will face due to economic reverses and downturn. The MRPO calls on the public to double their vigilance and continue to do good deeds to help those in need.