2nd most wanted kidnap suspect falls

- Christina Mendez () - March 1, 2004 - 12:00am
One of the country’s most wanted kidnapping suspect was arrested by military intelligence agents and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in a remote barangay in San Pablo City in Laguna yesterday.

Initial reports said Rolando Fajardo, the country’s second most wanted kidnapper, was finally cornered by lawmen in Barangay Remigio.

His younger brother, Harold, who tops the most wanted list of kidnappers, is still at large. Both brothers carry a reward of P1 million each for their arrest.

Sources said Fajardo is now undergoing tactical interrogation at the National Anti-Kidnapping Task Force (NAKTF).

The Fajardo brothers earlier eluded NAKTF agents who raided their hideout in in a barangay in Tanauan, Batangas last week.

They reportedly jumped into a 15-foot deep creek at the back of their two-story concrete house in Barangay Pagaspas before lawmen could enter the premises of their hideou.

The Fajardos had been involved in the kidnapping of Victor Castañeda on Dec. 20, 2001 in Laguna and Michael Ng on Sept. 19, also in 2001.

Military sources said the brothers were also implicated in the kidnap-slay of Connie Yap-Wong and family driver Dionisio Burca last Oct. 5, 2001 in Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City.

NAKTF chief Angelo Reyes earlier tagged the Fajardos in the 1986 kidnapping of Japanese Noboyuki Wakaoji, then general manager of Mitsui Busan Ltd., Philippines.

Porfirio Fajardo, the father of the two, who were then 14 and 15 years old, was a prime suspect in the kidnapping.

In November 1986, heavily armed men snatched Wakaoji after he had played golf at the Canlubang Country Club in Laguna.

Wakaoji was released three months later in front of a Catholic church in Quezon City after Mitsui Group Ltd, Japan reportedly paid $3 million in ransom.

Reyes said they are investigating whether the Fajardo brothers are being protected by scalawag soldiers and policemen.

When Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. was still at the helm of anti-kidnapping operations last year, he admitted the Fajardo brothers were "the most elusive" in police dragnet operations.

The capture of Fajardo came two days after seven of the suspects behind the kidnap-slay of Coca-Cola executive Betti Chua Sy last year were arrested in Binangonan, Rizal.

Last Feb. 24, NAKTF agents captured Teddy Padre, the country’s eighth most wanted kidnapper during a raid in his hideout in Quezon City.

Padre, who carried a P500,000 bounty on his head, was arrested in a house along Commonwealth Avenue on the strength of a warrant issued by the Pasay City Regional Trial Court.

NAKTF Said Seven Suspects In The Sy Kidnap-Slay Case were members of the notorious "Waray-Waray" gang, one of the kidnap-for-ransom groups topping the most wanted list.

Sy, finance manager of Coca-Cola Export Corp., was abducted on Nov. 17 in Quezon City. Her body was found stuffed inside a garbage bag along the seafront in Parañaque City the following day.

The Sy kidnapping triggered an upsurge in kidnapping incidents in the country in recent months, prompting anti-crime groups and businessmen to call for authorities to implement tougher measures and lift the moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty law.

The kidnapping also gave birth to the creation of NAKTF which became the forefront agency of the government in the fight against kidnapping.

NAKTF has publicly released posters of the 20 most wanted kidnappers which virtually spelled the end of kidnapping activities in the country.

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