LUCENA CITY — Joint operatives of the PNP- Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) and the Quezon police on Thursday rescued a 60-year-old Filipina-American and her 3-year-old grandson after paying $4,000 to the supposed would- be kidnappers.
The two were rescued by authorities at the Fresh Air Hotel on Maharlika Highway in Bgy. Isabang, this city.
Quezon police director Col. Ramil Montilla identified the victims as Evangeline Amores Hagen, a native of Cebu and residing in Florida, USA, and her grandson Addison Rivera.
The two were spending their vacation at Hagen’s resthouse in Bgy. Calwit, San Narciso, Quezon when they received a letter on the night of May 29.
“The letter written on yellow pad was allegedly sent by ‘Ka Marlon’ demanding $4,000 from Hagen,” said Montilla.
Montilla said the sender threatened to have Hagen and his grandson kidnapped if they refuse to give their demand.
“At that point, Hagen asked the help of Angel Bariata, the village chief of Poblacion 1 in the adjacent town of Mulanay, Quezon as advised by her sister Tersa Roldan who takes care of the resthouse,” Montilla said, adding that Roldan’s daughter is a common-law-wife of Barriata.
Montilla said Hagen contacted her daughter, Liz Rivera, also a U.S. citizen in Houston, Texas and informed her of the matter.
He said Rivera immediately sent $4,000 via Cebuana Lhuillier before informing the U. S. Embassy of her mother and son’s ordeal.
Montilla said when Bariata arrived, the latter brought the two, along with Roldan, to Kamhantik Hotel in Mulanay town before he started negotiating with the supposed kidnappers via mobile phone.
He said Bariata and Roldan then claimed the money worth more than P200,000 from Cebuana Lhuillier and allegedly had it delivered to a group of six men riding on three motorcycles somewhere between Mulanay and Buenavista town at around 10 a.m. on Thursday.
“Bariata and Roldan then travelled to Lucena City with Hagen and his grandson and they checked in at Fresh Air Hotel which we eventually located”, said Montilla.
During the interview, Montilla said Bariata showed several discrepancies and inconsistencies with his statements, making him a person of interest.
“Binura n’ya (Bariata) ‘yong cell number nong sinasabi n’yang nanghingi ng pera pati ang kanilang conversation sa phone, then pinunit n’ya ‘yong demand letter na dapat ay hindi niya ginawa. At nakapagtatakang hindi niya ipinaalam sa PNP ang pangyayari gayong barangay captain siya.”, Montilla lamented.
Montilla said they consider it as an extortion case. He said once it is proven that everything was orchestrated by Bariata and Roldan, the case falls under kidnap for ransom.