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NBI eyes ‘hulidap’ in case of missing players

Marc Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star
NBI eyes âhulidapâ in case of missing players
Two cockfight players went to the NBI Special Action Unit (SAU) on Thursday. The victims accused Pat. Roy Navarete and M/Sgt. Michael Claveria of kidnapping them in November 2020.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Two police officers relieved for their alleged involvement in the disappearance and planting of drugs against cockfight players were accused of “hulidap,” the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said yesterday.

Two cockfight players went to the NBI Special Action Unit (SAU) on Thursday. The victims accused Pat. Roy Navarete and M/Sgt. Michael Claveria of kidnapping them in November 2020.

Navarete was placed under restrictive custody for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping of cockfight player Ricardo Lasco in San Pablo, Laguna on Aug. 30 last year.

He was tagged by witnesses during a Senate probe on Lasco’s kidnapping.

Claveria was sacked for allegedly fabricating drug charges against two sabungeros.

The NBI said it is looking into the alleged involvement of Laguna policemen in hulidap or arrest-and-rob or shakedown scheme.

In their sworn statements, the complainants, aged 38 and 26, said they and four other cockfight aficionados were arrested by police at a cockpit arena in Sta. Cruz, Laguna sometime in November 2020.

Police allegedly dragged the victims into a van after they were accused by the security in the cockpit arena of game fixing.

The complainants were arrested after an official in the cockpit arena named “Dondon” reported them to police.

One complainant told the NBI that “Dondon” was among the resource persons in the Senate hearing into the disappearance of 34 cockfight players.

The complainant was referring to Julie Aguilar Patidongan, one of nine suspects charged by police with kidnapping and serious illegal detention before the Department of Justice over the disappearance of sabungeros in Manila.

Navarete and Claveria were accused of bringing the cockfight players to a safehouse and threatening to kill them because of a supposed P50,000 bounty on their heads.

The police officers allegedly robbed the cockfight players of P300,000 cash, cell phones and jewelry.

The group of sabungeros was divided into two and brought to Sta. Cruz and Pila, Laguna.

Police brought two more victims to the safehouse, although the complainants said they did not recognize the two.

A complainant said he saw Navarete and Claveria bringing out sachets of shabu from their pockets to plant as evidence against them.

Police filed drug charges against the complainants. Four of the victims, including the two complainants, have been cleared.

The NBI said it is looking into a pattern of hulidap involving the Laguna police officers, SAU executive officer Kristine de la Cruz told The STAR.

‘Duterte not surprised’

President Duterte said he was not surprised if some police officers were tagged in the disappearance of e-sabong players.

Citing his experience as a local official, Duterte said even organizations that are supposed to enforce the law have scalawags.

“That would make them easy to commit crimes. That’s why I am not surprised. I’m sure you are not also because sometimes, crimes cannot be committed without the participation of the police,” he said.

During Duterte’s public address on Monday, Philippine National Police chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos reported that the policemen linked to the missing sabungeros were placed in a holding unit at Camp Crame. – Alexis Romero

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