By AARON RECUENCO
Anti-kidnapping operatives of the Philippine National Police yesterday killed two foreigners tagged in the abduction of their countrymen during a shootout in Angeles City in Pampanga that also resulted in the wounding of a police captain.
Police Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo, director of the PNP-Anti-Kidnapping Group, said the shootout was an offshoot of a follow-up operation regarding the rescued Chinese workers of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator in Pampanga last June 1.
Two of their abductors were collared in two separate operations in Pasay City last week.
During the investigation, Estomo said that they learned of the other cohorts of the suspects who are still in Angeles City.
The three rescued kidnappers, on the other hand, also squealed that there are more kidnap victims at the hands of their captors.
At around 9 a.m. when AKG operatives were conducting backtracking investigation, they chanced upon a van which was described by the victims as the vehicle used in their abduction.
The van was spotted at Forest Park in Angeles City and it fit the license plate that was recalled by the victims.
Police Lt. Col. Villaflor Bannawagan, head of the AKG Luzon Field Unit, said that the same car was also mentioned during the inquest proceedings of the two Chinese earlier arrested in Pasay.
“Our men tried to approach the car but the suspects on board suddenly opened fire. This resulted in a brief shootout,” said Bannawagan.
The gunfire resulted in the wounding of an AKG operative with a rank of captain but the two suspects were killed.
“The two slain suspects are Chinese-looking” said Bannawagan.
He added that investigation are now being conducted to identify them.
Seized were two .45-caliber pistols, an M4 5.56 rifle, and the white Hyundai Starex allegedly used in the kidnapping.
Kidnapping incidents involving POGO workers and casino players involving Chinese resulted in the spike in kidnapping cases especially in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon since 2017.
Chinese POGO workers were allegedly being kidnapped in an attempt to prevent them from going back to their home country.
The modus operandi is that Chinese would be recruited in China with a promise of high salary and good benefits but when they arrive in the Philippines, the salary and perks promised to them are not given. This would prompt some of the Chinese POGO workers to escape.