New anti-kidnap group chief assumes position

Jonnel C. Estomo
PNP Chief Directorial Staff Lieutenant General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan (left) hands over the office flag to newly-designated PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group director Colonel Jonnel C. Estomo during the assumption of command ceremony at the PNP-AKG headquarters in Camp Crame.
Photo by Alfred P. Dalizon

PHILIPPINE National Police Chief Directorial Staff Lieutenant General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan yesterday installed Colonel Jonnel C. Estomo as the new acting director of the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group and called on the latter to equal if not surpass the good job of his predecessor in curing kidnappings-for-ransom.

Cascolan said  the PNP leadership has full trust and confidence on the capability of Estomo, a member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Tanglaw Diwa’ Class of 1992, to equal the solid work of the official he replaced, now retired Brigadier General Glenn G. Dumlao of PNP Academy Class 1988.

Apart from addressing the presence of kidnapping-for-ransom gangs in the country, the official said that Estomo also has to work harder to address the presence of casino-related kidnappings as well as the abduction and robbery of wealthy Bureau of Internal Revenue officials.

“We have been receiving lots of complaints regarding the presence of BIR officials being kidnapped and robbed by armed criminals. There were reports that some were killed too but we cannot do something if they don’t’ complaint,” Cascolan said.

The official said  they are also looking into the possibility that some of those kidnapped incurred the ire of their rich clients after they refused to come across demands for them to reduce the tax they are collecting in exchange for some monetary favors.

“It’s just not money. May mga balitang hindi pinagbibigyan ang ibang mga kliyente na nagalit kaya sila pinakidnap. We have a report that one was even killed in Tarlac pero me mga balita na meron talagang nagbayad sa mga kidnappers nila,” Cascolan said.

Estomo said he will be fully coordinating with other law enforcement agencies and PNP units in investigating those cases and unmasking and jailing the kidnappers and their “brains.”

“We will be looking at pending cases and coordinate with other units including the NCRPO,” he told the Journal Group.

Estomo added that PNP chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde ordered him to continue the “very good work” done by Dumlao at the PNP-AKG including their internal cleansing program and unrelenting drive versus kidnappers.

In August 2018, the BIR came up with a statement that it is investigating alleged reports that some of its officials were kidnapped in exchange for ransom.

“Although unverified and unconfirmed, the BIR is seriously looking into the alleged incident to determine its veracity and to undertake the necessary actions, including implementing a security plan to protect its revenuers,” the BIR said in a statement that year.