DEPARTMENT of Justice Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony D. Fadullon yesterday called for a “whole-of-nation” approach to stop the growing incidents of casino-related kidnappings.
“The attention of the local authorities are being diverted to casino-related kidnappings which is just a coersive scheme of loan sharks in collecting the borrowed money by the better-victims, from real kidnapping cases wherein the families of the victims and the victims themselves are more than willing to push through a case against the kidnappers and consequently have them punished in accordance with the law,” Fadullon, also the chairman of the Anti-Kidnapping Task Force, told the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG) summit on casino-related kidnappings.
The PNP-AKG headed by Colonel Jonnel C. Estomo said in 2017, they recorded 52 casino-related kidnapping cases, the same year when the operation of POGOs started in the country. That year also saw the arrest of 119 Chinese kidnappers.
In 2017, the DoJ through the National Prosecution Service resolved four casino-related kidnapping-for-ransom complaints. Two others were dismissed while the other two are ongoing trial.
In 2018, two out of seven of the casino-related KFR complaints filed were dismissed while one is pending for resolution. Four cases are already ongoing trial. This year, there were 18 complaints filed, five of which were dismissed while four are pending for resolution. Nine other cases are ongoing trial.
Fadullon said casino-related kidnapping is the effect of POGOs and legally operating casinos in the country. He said that it must be noted that victims of loan shark kidnappers are mostly actual bettors on the VIP tables of big casinos operating in the Philippines.