AFTER 10 long years of trial, the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) sentenced to reclusion perpetua six suspects, including a former police official and a soldier, after finding them guilty of kidnapping for ransom of a Pakistani businessman in 2007.
In a 28-page decision, Judge Elmo Alameda of Makati RTC Branch 150 said the accused were identified as Senior Insp. Eleazar Seiton, Sgt. Luminog P. Guiapal, alias Mike Asim; Jonathan Melgo, Ahmad Guiamad, Jumel Tunal Canazares, alias Corporal Jumel Canazares; and Beltran Tompeta Taba, alias Taba.
Alameda found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Article 267 or Kidnapping for Ransom as provided under the Revised Penal Code.
The accused were sentenced to reclusion perpetua on the complaint of Pakistani businessman Tariq Mian, a resident of San Lorenzo Village, Makati City.
Court records showed that the kidnapping took place on May 24, 2007 at 8:30 p.m. in front of the victim’s store, Silver Rose General Merchandise, located at 7627 at the corner of Dela Rosa and Santuico Streets.
Mian was standing in front of his store, together with his helper Joeffrey Cabadding, and Jason Panis, brother-in-law of Cabadding, when the accused led by Seiton, with warrant of arrest, came and arrested Mian purportedly on charges of large-scale illegal recruitment.
Seiton and the accused took Mian on board a Toyota Innova (XBZ333) and allegedly demanded P50 million for his freedom.
Mian reportedly haggled for the amount which was eventually reduced to P5 million but the accused refused to release him after his wife, Annalisa, only managed to produce P2 million.
It was on June 3, 2007 when Melgo and Guiamad were arrested, who led PACER operatives to the arrest of the other suspects and the rescue of the victim in a police operation on Nicanor Garcia St., Makati City, and in Pansol, Laguna.