MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) suspects kidnappers of former Albay board member and businessman Jose Saribong killed the victim because he knew who masterminded his abduction.
PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo said this could be the reason why the suspects still killed Saribong despite getting ransom money from the victim's family.
Saribong's family gave P890,000 in ransom to the kidnappers last Wednesday after being convinced that the victim was still alive. However, the body of Saribong was found buried in the suspects' safehouse in Cogeo, Antipolo City Monday.
Cerbo said investigation showed that one of the suspects was a former co-worker of Saribong.
"Sa unang teorya po na lumalabas ay talagang nandun ang intensyon na patayin ang biktima dahil kakilala niya 'yung isa sa mga kumidnap sa kanya," Cerbo told radio dzMM.
"Lumalabas na 'yung mastermind ng grupo ay dati na niyang nakasama sa isang trabaho o negosyo," he added.
Cerbo said they suspect Marc Stanley Banghulot, the alleged owner of the safehouse where Saribong was kept, is the mastermind behind the crime.
Saribong and his driver, identified as Jimmy Palermo, were abducted last January 23 along Marcos Highway in Golden Meadows Subdivision.
Police said Palermo was earlier killed by the suspects.
Banghulot and three others, identified as Jodie Manghuyop, Roger Escropolo and Roger Merabite, were arrested after Randy Tagalogon surrendered to police authorities and pointed the four's whereabouts.
Cerbo said Saribong may have been killed after Tagalogon gave himself up.
The arrested suspects are now facing charges of kidnapping for ransom with homicide, murder, illegal possession of firearms and violation of gun ban.
Three to four suspects remain at large.