A man, who serenaded residents in exchange for alms, was arrested after authorities discovered his involvement in at least five cases of attempted child abduction in Quezon City Monday afternoon.
On Tuesday, the suspect identified as Norly Rafael, legal age, of Caloocan City, was presented by National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Guillermo Eleazar before the media at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.
Rafael was initially accosted by village officials around 3:30 p.m. Monday in Barangay Commonwealth.
Officials identified Rafael as the man in a viral social media post said to be abducting minors in Purok 10, Riverside, Barangay Commonwealth.
Police said the modus of the suspect involves spying on his targets and following them to their houses.
The suspect, carrying a guitar, would then serenade the families of the targeted victims.
A certain Khel Ramos claimed in a social media post that a man bearing a guitar serenaded them one morning while they were still asleep. One of Ramos’ relatives gave the man some money.
However, the man went back to their house three hours later and seemed to be looking at the children inside their house.
“Noong binigyan siya ng pera, hindi pa rin siya umalis at tinitignan ‘yung mga bata sa loob ng bahay namin. Noong una nakita niya na walang lalaki sa amin dahil tulog pa kami,” Ramosa said.
Ramos then called his uncle when he saw the suspicious man.
When they confronted the man, the latter suddenly ran away. The post happened in Purok 19, Riverside, Barangay Commonwealth, according to Ramos.
Around 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Rafael allegedly tried to abduct a nine-year-old girl but the victim managed escape from him.
The mother of the girl went to the NCRPO headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City on Tuesday to give her testimony.
Four other complainants then surfaced and gave statements about the kidnapping attempt on their children and they identified Rafael as the culprit.
One parent claimed her four-year-old boy was grabbed by the suspect on Saturday night while the latter was asking for alms in Barangay Commonwealth.
The other victims, aged seven to 11, were also nearly abducted by Rafael on Thursday night, February 21, according to their parents.
Aside from serenading, Rafael would sometimes use chocolates and money to entice his victims to go with him, the parents told the police.
Some of the victims were targeted after they got out of school, the parents added.
The parents of the children also alleged that Rafael would meet with his cohorts in Barangay Tala, Caloocan City, before they sell the victims for P10,000.
Village officials recovered from Rafael a guitar during his arrest.
Rafael, for his part, denied the accusations, saying he would not kidnap children because he also has eight kids who all rely on him.
He further claimed that the police were the ones who mauled him, not the locals of Barangay Commonwealth.
NCRPO Director Eleazar clarified that even with the discovery of the case, the police have not received even a single report of child abduction in Metro Manila.
He urged the public to coordinate with the police if they have children or relatives who have gone missing recently.
For those who have missing relatives, the NCRPO can be contacted through their hotlines 0915-888-8181 or 0999-901-8181. (Martin A. Sadongdong)