POLICE are investigating reports that a drug syndicate could be behind the mysterious disappearance of eight men and a woman in Pasay City last November 20 and 22, the Journal Group learned yesterday.
“We’re checking information that some of the missing persons have links with a local drug syndicate and were abducted for different reasons. It could be because they were being suspected of acting as police informants. Another is that some of them could have failed to remit drug proceeds to the syndicate,” an official who demanded anonymity said.
A second official involved in the ongoing investigation said that majority of the families of the victims have also refused to cooperate with their ongoing inquiry and are not providing them with details. The official also demanded that he not be named since he is not allowed to speak on the matter.
However, both officials said they still have no direct pieces of evidence and witnesses that will bolster their theory regarding the disappearance of the nine. “We’re trying to connect some missing clues here, one of which is if the nine are really known to each other,” the first source said.
Former Philippine National Police chief-turned Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa has described the incidents as ‘isolated cases’ as he sought to douse public fear over the case of the missing nine persons, aged 18 to 23.
The disappearance of the nine was reported by their relatives thru social media.
According to Sen. dela Rosa, the youngsters are friends and that investigators are pursuing a theory on their disappearance. The senator however refused to reveal more information he received from Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa.
National Capital Region Police Office director, Brigadier General Debold M. Sinas, earlier ordered a though investigation into the reported disappearance of nine young residents of Pasay City.
The NCRPO chief told the Journal Group he wants his men to find out what really happened to the nine in order to ease the anxiety of the relatives of the nine. The official also called on the public to refrain from making any speculations regarding the matter until the investigation is over.
Sinas tasked Pasay City Police Station chief, Colonel Bernard Yang to look into the circumstances surrounding the reported disappearance of the nine.
Investigators have examined surveillance footages at the areas where the victims reportedly disappeared and are asking the help of the public and telecommunication companies to provide them details on the mobile phones of the nine.
Police also checked with the Land Transportation Office the owner of a van that was allegedly used in the alleged abduction of one of the nine. The one who was reportedly dragged into a van by at least six unidentified men around 6 p.m. last November 22 in Villaruel Street was identified as Sebastian Montoya.
The official said that relatives of four of the alleged victims are yet to file any complaint before the local police. Yang said any information regarding the nine ‘missing’ persons can be relayed to their hotlines 88311544 or 0918-3696565.
As of yesterday, there are still no leads on the whereabouts of any of the nine including John Esguerra and his girlfriend Niña Ignacio, both 19-years old who went missing last November 20.