SAF training director pleads not guilty to twin kidnaps


An official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) and another policeman, both accused in the kidnap of a retired pilot and his driver last June 27, pleaded not guilty yesterday before Judge Pedro Gutierrez of the Pasay City Regional Trial Court Branch 119.

Chief Inspector Exequiel Cautiver, training director of the SAF School in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, and Police Officer 1 Ric Selga pleaded not guilty to the kidnap-for-ransom case filed against them. 

Cautiver’s lawyer, Evangeline Malabanan, asked the court that the arraignment of Cautiver’s wife, Penelope, be deferred. Malabanan said they will file either a motion to quash or a motion to dismiss the case filed against Penelope.

“She was not properly notified. There was no subpoena issued her. She was not subjected to any preliminary investigation,” Malabanan said.

Meanwhile, the arraignment of Cautiver’s three other co-accused was moved to another date as their respective lawyers did not show up in court yesterday. They are former Dasmariñas vice mayor Victor Carungcong, the alleged mastermind; Makati City barangay tanod Alejandro Entolizo Jr.; and Gary Pateo, pedicab driver in Bangkal, Makati City.

Two more suspects, identified as Mariano de Leon Jr. and Police Officer 1 Reniel Abugado, remain at large. Abugado was part of SAF School Batch 46 who trained under Cautiver, a graduate of the PNP Academy in 1996.

The abduction and murder of Demosthenes Cañete, 67, and his driver Allan Garay, 26, took place last June 27. The incident happened after the victims visited the family’s gas emission testing center and drug diagnostics clinic at the LTO compound in Sabang, Dasmariñas. The suspects were carrying with them high-powered firearms.

Garay was immediately killed after the abduction and dumped in Valenzuela City. His body bore several gunshot wounds. Cañete’s remains were found at the Porac, Pampanga megadike last July 4. He was shot in the jaw, with the bullet going out through the back of his head.

The suspects initially demanded a P20-million ransom but later reduced the amount to close to a million pesos.

The ransom payoff, which took place in Malibay, Pasay City last July 4, was monitored by the Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response police officers, who arrested Entolizo and Pateo after they took the money. The latter implicated Cautiver, who in turn pointed to Carungcong as the mastermind. – Rhodina Villanueva








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