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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Justice Served: 5 Police Officers Sentenced for Abduction in Cagayan de Oro

The recent conviction of five policemen in Cagayan de Oro for the kidnapping of a former overseas Filipino worker in 2016 is a bittersweet victory for the victim's family. Although the CCTV footage and a witness testimony were crucial in securing the conviction of the policemen, the victim himself was never found, leaving his family with no closure.

The policemen were found guilty of the broad daylight abduction of Enrique “Eking” Fernandez III outside an online gaming establishment in uptown Cagayan de Oro, which was caught on CCTV camera. The footage showed the policemen dragging the victim into a car in full public view. The motive for the abduction has remained unclear, but it was suspected that Fernandez was kidnapped apparently in an attempt to force his partner to pay a ransom, as his partner had just closed a multimillion-peso real estate deal at that time.

The convicted policemen are the following:

  • Senior Inspector Ereneo Ramirez
  • SP02 Jojo Lim
  • SP02 Alaindelon Tacubao
  • PO2 Sangkulan Hussien II
  • P02 Alejandro Ubanan

The convicted policemen were sentenced to up to 40 years in prison for kidnapping, and the court ordered them to jointly pay Fernandez’s heirs P350,000 in damages, excluding lawsuit costs. However, the court dismissed the carnapping case against them due to lack of evidence. Two of their alleged accomplices were also acquitted due to reasonable doubt.

It is heartening to see justice being served in this case, especially given that the policemen who were convicted were found to be operating like a crime syndicate. However, the fact that the victim was never found highlights the need for continued efforts to prevent such crimes from happening in the first place. The authorities must do more to ensure the safety of citizens and hold those who violate their rights accountable for their actions.

Overall, this conviction sends a strong message that those who abuse their power and commit crimes will be held accountable for their actions. However, it also serves as a reminder of the importance of continued efforts to prevent such crimes and ensure justice for victims and their families.

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