By Ali G. Macabalang
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Guillermo Eleazar has ordered the summary dismissal from service and indictment of five cops suspected in the kidnap-slay of a female Muslim online seller in Nueva Ecija on July 20.
Eleazar on Tuesday, Aug. 3 tasked the PNP Internal Affairs Service to swiftly initiate summary dismissal proceedings against five cops in police investigation as:
- Police Staff Sergeant Benedict Matias Reyes of Sta. Rosa Municipal Police Station
- Police Staff Sergeant June Malillin of Palayan City Police Station
- Police Corporal Julius Alcantara of Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Office Drug Enforcement Unit
- Police Master Sergeant Rowen Martin of Cabanatuan City Police Station
- Police Staff Sergeant Drextemir Esmundo of Cabiao Municipal Police Station
Aside from these cops, two civilians Franklin Macapagal and Dario Robarios were also suspected in the kidnap-slay of Nadia Casar, 35, a female Muslim online seller in Nueva Ecija, a Luzon province known with considerable number of reverts to Islam like action move Robin “Abdul Aziz” Padilla.
Published reports said Reyes, Malillin, Alcantara, and Robarios are in police custody, while Martin, Esmundo, and Macapagal remain at large. They have been charged in the Department of Justice, a PNP statement said.
Eleazar ordered the Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) and the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) to conduct manhunt operations against the three suspects at large.
“We strongly condemn this incident. I assure you that all the police involved in the kidnapping and killing of Nadia Casar will be dismissed from service and held accountable…These criminal-minded people who are wicked to the bone deserve to rot in prison…I will personally look into this case and will make sure that these rotten eggs will face justice in court and be accountable for their crimes,” reports quoted Eleazar as saying in Pilipino.
News attributed to AKG investigators said Casar and a Grab driver she hired were kidnapped by at least five men in Barangay Tagpos, Sta. Rosa at around 1:45 p.m. on July 20.
Suspects took the Grab driver’s mobile phone and P4,500 cash and freed him at around 3 a.m. on July 21. On Aug. 1, the burnt and buried body of Cesar was recovered in Sitio Pinagpala, Barangay Imelda Valley in Palayan City at around 2:30 p.m.
Eleazar expressed his sympathies with the victim’s family as he vowed swift justice for her killing.
Initial reports about Casar’s kidnap-slay went viral in the social media, with some nitizens posting the photos of the slain victim, of an arrested civilian suspect, of locked-up Staff Sgt. Reyes, and of SOCO agents scouring the burnt remains of the fatality.
There were speculations that Casar during her captivity was gang raped before being slain, burnt and buried.
Tip of iceberg
The Mindanao-based Moro Consensus Group (MCG) and the Bangsamoro Press Corps (BPC) strongly slammed Casar’s fate, and urged PNP Chief Eleazar punish all suspects, and reinvestigate past killings of Muslim civilians allegedly involving cops.
MCG leader Drieza Lininding said news about Casar’s kidnap-slay after the Grab driver (named withheld) narrated the crime details, including an earlier effort by arrested suspect Macapagal to contact the slain victim in the guise of buying an online stuff.
Lininding and BPC officers said Gen. Eleazar should exemplify his “intensified cleansing drive” in the PNP ranks, believing that Casar’s tragic fate was just a “tip of iceberg” in past crimes involving suspected cops against Muslim civilians in different parts of the country.
The BPC cited the brutal ambush and robbery attack by suspected cops on Kulingan Haji Jamil Saad and Junaid Haji Farhan Saad, a Muslim couple engaged in jewelry business, in the evening of Sept. 3, 2020 in Pasay City.
The attackers allegedly included two cops seen by residents fleeing aboard a motorbike with a vault-like box containing P15-million cash as claimed by relatives.
The BPC said another still unresolved incident was the massacre in broad daylight of nine Muslim farmers along one of the access roads of the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) campus in Kabacan, North Cotabato on Aug. 29, 2020.
Investigators from the Commission on Human Rights in Region XII, citing narratives at hospital by one of the victims before succumbing to bullet wounds, that “our attackers were policemen.” The information was corroborated by some USM campus security guards watching the incident from a distance. (AGM)