Remulla, PNP differ on leads in sabungeros’ case

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star
Remulla, PNP differ on leads in sabungerosâ case
This photo shows Rep. Jesus Crispin Remulla (Cavite).
Boying Remulla Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said yesterday that law enforcers are following up leads in the case of the 34 missing cockfighting aficionados or sabungeros, which he described as “very difficult to crack.”

The Philippine National Police (PNP), however, said its investigators are still facing a blank wall on the whereabouts of the missing sabungeros despite the investigation lasting nearly 10 months.

On the sidelines of his meeting with the sabungeros’ relatives at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Remulla told reporters that the PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) is “getting a lot of evidence.”

Remulla said investigators are currently looking at “eight clustered cases” of missing sabungeros wherein four have been filed in court while the remaining four other cases are still under investigation.

Remulla noted that “there looks to be a group behind” the disappearance of the 34 sabungeros.

Remulla said that his role in the investigation is to “coordinate everything” and ensure that all the concerned law enforcement agencies work together to come up with a clear dialogue and clear direction in the investigation of the case.

PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo told GMA News they have no “credible lead” or “strong evidence” on the location of the missing sabungeros.

Fajardo said the CIDG’s special investigation task group is banking on a major breakthrough in the case: a cell phone video that showed how cockfight aficionado Michael Bautista was taken by two men in front of a cockpit arena in Sta. Cruz, Laguna in April last year.

The CIDG on Thursday filed complaints of kidnapping and serious illegal detention before the DOJ against the suspects, one of whom was identified as Julie Patidongan, reportedly a staff of a farm in Barangay Palasan in Sta. Cruz.

Fajardo said they are looking at the possibility that one group is involved in the abduction as there are indications Patidongan, also known as Dondon, could be related to all the cases. – Emmanuel Tupas


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