No lead yet in abduction of Fajardo, 2 cops -- PNP

Oscar D. Albayalde

INVESTIGATORS have no leads yet in the recent kidnapping of three men -- one of them a businessman, another a retired police major and a Quezon City policeman -- by still unidentified heavily-armed men.

However,  Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde said there’s a possibility that “well- organized syndicates” are behind all three kidnapping cases.

He referred to the cases of businessman Allan Fajardo, newly-retired Major Lito Pirote of the defunct PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force and Corporal Glenn Stuart Manila of the Q.C. Police District.

Gen. Albayalde also brushed off speculations that the suspects who abducted Fajardo and Pirote could be one and the same since they both used a ‘white van’ as their getaway vehicle in both cases.

“I don’t think there a relation between the Fajardo and Pirote case. Most probably, malaking sindikato ang involved dito. Tingin ko malaking grupo ito,” Albayalde said during a press conference at Camp Crame.

He said the in case of Pirote, there is still no clear motive behind his abductiom although one angle being pursued by the police is that the victim’s name is included in the government drug watch list.

Pirote, a bemedaled police officer, was snatched by at least three armed men inside the Metro Inn Hotel located at 6th Street, Barangay 7, in Bacolod City around 11 a.m. on Friday, said Police Regional Office 6 director Brigadier General John C. Bulalacao.

The abduction was witnessed by the victim’s daughter. Pirote was allegedly pistol-whipped by his abductors when he tried to resist them since bloodstains were discovered at the scene.

On the other hand, the QCPD headed by Brig. Gen. Joselito T. Esquivel Jr. said his men are are looking at all possible angles in the kidnapping of Cpl. Manila, a member of the QCPD Station 6 in Batasan. The policeman was withdrawing money from an ATM booth at a supermarket in Bgy. Loma de Gato, Marilao, Bulacan on Holy Tuesday when armed men on board two white vans arrived and seized him.

Last April 3, Fajardo, a businessman who once served as aide to slain Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili, was abducted by over a dozen heavily-armed men in full-battle gear inside the  Seda Nuvali Hotel in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna. Fajardo’s aide Ricky Atienza was also abducted inside the Misto Restaurant. Since then, there have been no word on the fate of the two.