Cops’ handling of KFR cases to be reviewed

- Christina Mendez, Matthew Estabillo () - March 15, 2001 - 12:00am
Police authorities are set to review their procedures in handling kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) cases after the botched attempt to rescue kidnapping victims Gian Carlo Leung and Tihani Tingal in Baguio City last week.

Leung and Tingal, both students of the University of the Philippines in Baguio, were abducted on Thursday but were both found dead in different places in Pampanga after the botched rescue attempt.

Acting Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Deputy Director General Leandro Mendoza said he will be meeting with Director Hermogenes Ebdane, chief of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF), to review their procedures for KFR cases.

"I will have a dialogue with the PAOCTF and discuss how they operate in KFR cases," Mendoza said, adding he would explain to the Filipino-Chinese community how to prevent kidnappings and protect possible victims.

The rescue operation for Leung and Tingal was botched after PAOCTF officials allegedly took over the case from the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) from whom the victims’ families initially sought assistance, Mendoza said.

The two students were reportedly slain after the kidnappers discovered that a PAOCTF officer was with Leung’s mother, Lotta, who was to deliver the P250,000 ransom they had demanded.

The kidnappers initially demanded a ransom of P1 million but eventually reduced the amount to P250,000 after the Leung family negotiated with them.

Leung’s father, Charles, said he does not want the kidnappers dead because he does not want their families to feel the anguish he feels now.

"They could have tortured my son or...raped Tihani but they did not. I do not want them dead because I don’t want their families to feel what I’m feeling right now," Charles said.

Gian Carlo, 22, was about to complete his bachelor’s degree in mass communications. Tihani, 26, was reportedly his girlfriend.

Mendoza, however, said the police are not discounting the possibility that Leung and Tingal were victims of a fraternity war inside the UP Baguio campus since Leung was allegedly the head of the Beta Sigma fraternity.

"It is not normal for kidnappers to kill their hostages," Mendoza said. "The motive for KFR is money and we are just wondering why they had to kill their hostages and risk the P250,000 ransom."

ACTING PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE BAGUIO CITY BETA SIGMA CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION AND DETECTION GROUP LEUNG LEUNG AND TINGAL MENDOZA
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