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DOJ to Form Tracker Teams vs Suspects Behind Missing Sabungeros

May 1, 2023 Philippines Crime & Legal

DOJ to Form Tracker Teams vs Suspects Behind Missing SabungerosMANILA — The Justice department will form tracker teams to look for suspects behind the disappearance of several cockfighting enthusiasts or “sabungeros.”

This as families of the missing sabungeros on Thursday again met with Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla at the DOJ to get updates on the case.

“In our next meeting, we’ll have tracker teams whose responsibility is to really look for suspects who have been issued a warrant of arrest,” Remulla told the media shortly after the meeting.

Several individuals have been charged over the disappearance of more than 30 sabungeros.

In December last year, 3 cops caught on CCTV disguised as NBI agents who “arrested” online sabong master agent Ricardo Lasco in his house in San Pablo Laguna on August 30, 2021 were charged with robbery and kidnapping.

Six more persons were charged with kidnapping and illegal serious detention over the disappearance of six men who were last seen at the Manila Arena.

But relatives of the missing sabungeros have complained that the trials in these cases have yet to start.

“This is because we still don’t have jurisdiction to the people of the accused. They haven’t surrendered nor have been arrested yet. So that’s what we are trying to do now, forming the tracker teams. And we will meet within the next two and a half weeks again before Usec Vasquez and I leave to give them an update with the tracker teams formed already,” Remulla explained.

Remulla said that while there are suspicions already as to who is behind the alleged abductions, no concrete evidence has been presented so far.

“Mastermind, there are suspicions that people are saying. However, the problem is when you look for evidence, there’s none that comes up. Our job here is to form a case based on evidence that we can bring to the judge so that they will be persecuted and convicted, if it’s seen they have committed a crime.” he said.

Amid claims that bodies of the missing sabungeros have allegedly been burned, Remulla acknowledged hearing about this information for some time already.

“That is old news. The problem is we don’t have any trace where they are. That is what we are looking for. We have been already lead to a clue, which has been talked about by the person in custody of the NBI but it went away again. That is why we are looking for a way for this.” he explained.

The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group previously said a total of 34 sabungeros have been missing since 2021.

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