SPD forms team to find missing teen
Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - December 23, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines —  The Southern Police District (SPD) created a special task group to bring home 17-year-old Patricia “Ica” Policarpio, who went missing in Muntinlupa on Thursday night, before Christmas, an official said yesterday.

The tracker team will be headed by Senior Superintendent Dante Novicio, city police chief, according to SPD director Chief Superintendent Tomas Apolinario.

He said the team has also tapped members of police intelligence and investigation units in Parañaque, Cavite and Muntinlupa to help them find Policarpio.

“Hopefully, we can bring her home... before Christmas. We are in constant communication with Ica’s parents and the police are doing all efforts to bring her home safely the soonest, with God’s help,” Apolinario said. 

Apolinario’s statement came after they received “a positive development” in Policarpio’s case.

“She is alive, but (her) location is still being tracked down,” he added. 

Policarpio, a Grade 12 student and niece of former Presidential Legislative Liaison Office chief Jimmy Policarpio, disappeared outside a coffee shop in Muntinlupa Thursday night, prompting her parents to report the incident to the city police. 

Police said her parents last talked to her at around 10:45 p.m. They told her they would be late in picking her up from the coffee shop.

Surveillance videos show Policarpio leaving a coffee shop at a mall in Sucat and at a nearby convenience store.

By the time her parents arrived at the coffee shop, Policarpio could not be found. She left her bag, laptop and cell phone at the coffee shop.

Fake news

After news of her disappearance went viral, a report surfaced, claiming she was rescued in a bloody operation in Bulacan yesterday morning that left one policeman and four suspects dead. 

The report also said that the “big boss” was spared in the operation and the kidnappers allegedly used a government service vehicle.  

The kidnappers demanded P15 million but later lowered the amount to P1.7 million.

Apolinario said the report was “fake news.” He said there was an encounter in Bulacan yesterday but Policarpio was not involved in the incident.

Not yet a kidnapping

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said yesterday there are still no leads that would suggest that Policarpio was kidnapped.

Her family has yet to receive a ransom demand, he said.

“This is a missing person case. We still can’t elevate it to abduction,” Dela Rosa said in an ambush interview with reporters.

“If she was abducted, we still can’t elevate it to a kidnap-for-ransom since there is no ransom demand,” he added.

With Emmanuel Tupas

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