MANILA Mayor Isko Moreno yesterday announced the arrest of two officials of a funeral parlor who were said to have taken ‘hostage’ a corpse, whose family failed to produce P360,000 in exchange for the release of their loved one’s body.
Moreno lauded the swift action taken by the Manila Police District-Special Mayor’s Reaction Unit (MPD-SMaRT) headed by Maj. Jhun Ibay, who effected the arrest of Rolando Morado, 54 and May Manahan, 49, operations manager and secretary, respectively, both of Funeraria Cruz located on Severino Reyes Street in Sta.Cruz, Manila.
According to Ibay, the operation was hatched on orders of Moreno after a complaint was received by the mayor’s office regarding the said funeral parlor’s refusal to release a body and the allegedly exorbitant fee being demanded by it from the relatives of the dead.
The complainant was identified by Ibay as Mirasol Olegenio, 58, of Poblacion West, Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac, City.
Ibay said that based on the complainant’s account, the said funeral parlor took the body of victim Marvin Olegenio, 30, an employee at the Dumduma Construction and Trading Corporation, after the latter drowned at around 8:30 p.m. last September 3 at the San Juan River in the area of Bacood St., Sta. Mesa, Manila.
When the victim’s family went to Funenaria Cruz to get the body, the authorities there reportedly refused to release it unless the family pays P360,000.
The complainant and her companions decided to seek police help before meeting with the suspects where they handed over marked money amounting to P2,000 as initial payment.
According to Ibay, the family is planning to bury their dead in Tarlac City and did not have the kind of money being demanded from them.
Moreno ordered Ibay to have the suspects charged accordingly. Ibay said charges are now being readied for violation of Article 308 or theft and Article 293 or robbery-extortion of the Revised Penal Code through entrapment operation.