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Image Source South China Morning Post

PH to pursue solid legal case against suspects of abducting, killing 6 Chinese

March 4, 2024 ChinaPhilippines Crime & Legal

The Philippines has promised to vigorously prosecute individuals who are suspected of kidnapping and killing six Chinese nationals who were taken from their residence in a luxury residential area of Metro Manila last year.

Edgar Catapang Abarca, Eduardo Catapang Abarca, and John Oliver Villanueva have been charged with many offenses, including kidnapping and murder, according to the Department of Justice.

The suspects broke into the Muntinlupa City home of the victims and three nearby workers in October of last year. Before putting the passengers in a getaway car, they blinded them.

The Filipinos were released the next day and instructed not to notify the police of what had happened, but when they did, it sparked an immediate response from the police.

Using CCTV footage, police on the island of Luzon apprehended the offenders and found the corpses of four Chinese citizens. A woman and her child are still unaccounted for, however.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla has urged prosecutors to build a strong case against the accused and promised to bring them to justice.

The national police’s anti-kidnapping unit chief, Cosme Abrenica, verified that the two men and two women died from hypoxia. He said that the victims didn’t seem to be hurt and were probably killed by being covered up or suffocated.

Abrenica also pointed out a strange aspect of the case: unlike other cases involving Chinese inmates, the suspects in this instance did not attempt to extract a ransom.

In the first ten months of 2023, Abrenica’s office received complaints of 20 kidnappings, most of which were Chinese nationals employed by Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs).

The pogo business emerged in the Philippines in 2016, taking advantage of the loose gaming laws in China, where it is illegal to gamble. However, a lot of POGOs have moved as a result of the pandemic, increased taxation, and government crackdowns.

Beijing has often cautioned Chinese nationals living in the Philippines not to work in POGOs due to the risks involved, which include criminal activities such cryptocurrency scams, kidnappings, and murders.

In 2022, the Philippines implemented efforts to control the company, which is vital to the nation’s economy, including closing 175 POGOs and deporting some 40,000 Chinese workers.

Original story by: South China Morning Post

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