5 Makati cops held in Parañaque mall
Ralph Edwin Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - August 25, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Five Makati police investigators were allegedly illegally detained by the security personnel of a mall in Parañaque City last Friday as they were investigating a kidnapping, an official said yesterday.

Maj. Gideon Ines, who heads the Makati police’s Station Investigation and Detective Management Branch, said he and four other police officers were conducting a follow-up investigation of a kidnapping that happened on Thursday.

Lin Zhixin reported to Makati police that the victim, Yua Ngiao, had been kidnapped and was being held at the Pearl Plaza mall. 

Ines said the vehicle used for the kidnapping, seen on surveillance footage, was registered to an online gaming firm, Dong Fang, whose office is located at the mall.

Ines said when they went to the mall on Friday at around 10 a.m., one security personnel pushed one of his colleagues while the other security personnel, identified only as Sungkuan, allegedly drew a gun on them and locked the mall lobby’s doors.

Both security personnel are former police officers who questioned the legitimacy of the operation even when the investigators, who were unarmed and in civilian clothes, presented copies of the complaint and spot report, Ines said.

“The two were like trying to cover something up,” Ines said. 

When mall officials came to the lobby, they promised to bring the kidnapping suspects and the vehicle used to the Makati police, according to Ines, who noted that the security personnel who detained them “hid.”

As of yesterday afternoon, Ines said mall officials have yet to surrender the suspect and the car. He said they are planning to file charges against the mall officials and security personnel.

He said his sources told him that Yua and other kidnap victims were reportedly held in the mall’s underground basement.

The STAR tried but failed to contact Pearl Plaza’s officials for comment.

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