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Ex-NBI asset gets life term for kidnapping

- Jose Rodel Clapano -

MANILA, Philippines - Former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) asset Martin Soriano was sentenced yesterday to life imprisonment for kidnapping.

Judge Oscar Pimentel of Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 147 also found Soriano guilty of two counts of robbery.

He was meted two to eight years imprisonment for each count.

Pimentel ordered Soriano to pay the victim, Carolyn Guillen, a total of P69,700 for the two counts of robbery.

Soriano’s co-accused in the first count of robbery, Ramiro Ganzon, was ordered to pay Guillen P22,000.

Pimentel ordered Senior Police Officer 2 Fernando Cantillas to pay Guillen the amount of P47,700 for taking part in the second count of robbery.

The court dismissed the kidnapping case against Soriano’s co-accused Danny Rendon and Ramiro Ganzon for failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

However, Soriano and Ganzon were found guilty of one count of robbery.

The kidnapping and robbery charges against Soriano arose from an operation Soriano conducted with members of the anti-illegal drug unit of Manila police Station 9 and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Court records show they picked up Guillen from the Ambassador Hotel in Manila on Jan. 28, 2005 and brought her to the Citadel Inn in Makati.

Soriano and the others held Guillen for three and a half hours, according to court records.

Guillen also filed two counts of robbery and two counts of extortion against Soriano, Rendon, Ganzon, Cantillas; policemen Ronald Rivera, Ronilo Marquez and Ernie Reyes; and one Junior Viray.

Soriano, Rendon, Ganzon, Cantillas, Rivera, Marquez, Reyes and Viray were acquitted of two counts of extortion and one count of robbery for insufficiency of evidence.

Soriano’s lawyer Salvador Panelo said he has filed a motion to admit as evidence an alleged letter of Guillen attesting to the innocence of Soriano.

“We will also file an omnibus motion for reconsideration,” he said.

“We disagree with the findings of the court. We believe that there is a buy-bust operation that led to the arrest of the complainant. The buy-bust operation was legitimate.” 

AMBASSADOR HOTEL

CANTILLAS

CAROLYN GUILLEN

CITADEL INN

DANNY RENDON AND RAMIRO GANZON

DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY

FERNANDO CANTILLAS

FORMER NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

GUILLEN

ROBBERY

SORIANO

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