2 ARRESTED IN ATENEO STUDENT KIDNAP CASE
Police reportedly collared two persons linked to the kidnapping of an Ateneo de Manila University student late last year.
POLICE reportedly collared two persons linked to the kidnapping of an Ateneo de Manila University student late last year.
Brigadier General Jonnel Estomo, director of the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group, identified the suspects as Rachel Erica Gonzales and Lawrence Liembo.
James Elijah Yap, 21, was abducted by six men while biking in New Manila, Quezon City on December 31, 2020.
The following day, January 1, the victim’s father, Edwin Yap, received a text message from the suspects informing him that his son was in their custody. They demanded a ransom of P200 million.
Yap sought the assistance of the police. The PNP-AKG negotiated with the suspects and was able to decrease the ransom to P1.5 million.
“Ang biktima hindi siya ang totoong target, ang target nila isang mayamang tao sa New Manila. It so happened nakita nila si James Elijah Yap nagba-bike pakalat-kalat, so no choice na sila kaya nga ang ceiling demand of P200 million, from P200 million through our effort napababa nang napababa ito ng P1.5 million,” Estomo said.
Yap was released in Bulacan after the ransom was paid.
Gonzales denied any involvement in the crime. She claimed that it was her husband, John Paolo, who kidnapped Yap.
Liembo admitted his participation in the kidnapping and told investigators that John Paolo was the mastermind.
Police are conducting follow-up operations to arrest the other suspects — John Paolo, Emil Mangali Ocampo, Paquito Diaz Gabad and two men only identified as ‘Ren’ and ‘Batman.’
Charges of kidnapping-for-ransom and serious illegal detention were filed against the suspects.