CABANATUAN CITY -- A top bank executive and a businesswoman in Nueva Ecija were kidnapped and were later released unharmed after an alleged cohort of their abductors was nabbed by the police during a ransom payoff at a parking lot of a shopping mall here last Thursday afternoon.
The two victims were identified as Aurelio Villaflor, 62, of 20 Samson Subdivision, Bgy. Sumacab Este, this city, executive vice president of GM Bank-Cabanatuan; and businesswoman Evangeline Urgente, 37, of Bgy. La Torre, Talavera, Nueva Ecija.
They were later released unharmed by their captors after police nabbed suspect John Del Rosario, 36, of Bgy. Imelda Valley, Palayan City, who took the ransom payment worth Php400,000 from Jesus Lazo, 45, of Vallarta St., San Isidro, GM Bank-Cabanatuan chief of Head Security and Safety Department.
Police learned of the kidnapping incident after Lazo sought assistance when his boss, who sounded distressed, phoned and asked him to prepare Php3.5 million in cash for his emergency use around 8 a.m. Thursday.
As earlier agreed upon during the ransom negotiations, Lazo parked his silver Mitsubishi Adventure car (RLJ-160) at the parking lot along General Tinio Street and uttered the password “Who are you” to Del Rosario, who approached his vehicle and then replied “Aurel”, the password answer, before police operatives pounced on the ransom taker.
During investigation, Del Rosario told police he was instructed by a certain Rodel Vallagar and Jun Sakaydoro, who were allegedly from Metro Manila, to pick up the ransom money from Lazo.
Hours later, however, Nieves said they learned that the two kidnap victims were released in an unspecified location and were already proceeding to their main office here.
At the GM Bank, the freed victims said they were on board Villaflor’s brown Honda Civic (RLB-269) when abducted in Bgy. Dinarayat, Talavera, on their way to Bgy. La Torre.
Steve A. Gosuico