MANILA - Police have arrested the barangay captain of Pulong Yantok, Angat, Bulacan for the kidnapping of a Filipino-Chinese businesswoman and her driver who were set on fire and buried in the barangay official's property.
Edeltrudes Tan, 59, and her driver, John Jason Puyo, were reported missing last March 25, while on their way to Tan's poultry farm in Barangay Pulong Yantok, Sta. Maria, Bulacan.
Their vehicle was later found abandoned and riddled with bullet holes in Norzagaray, Bulacan.
Philippine National Police-Anti Kidnapping Group spokesperson Superintendent Abel Borromeo said the two victims were kidnapped on their way to the farm.
"They were injured...from the shooting during the kidnapping. Sinunog at yung remains nila dinala sa quarry site, then later on, dinala rito," he said.
Ruben Tan, the victim's husband, said they received a text message a week after Edeltrudes was reported missing, saying the family must pay a $2 million ransom in exchange for the victims' freedom.
“After six days, may natanggap na kaming text. Tapos siyempre nung pagkawalang-pagkawala niya nung Saturday, kinabukasan, nag-report na kami sa AKG na nawawala siya. Two million dollars noong una, pero nitong huli hanggang kahapon, 750 thousand na lang. Walang proof of life talaga ever since,” he said.
Driver Adriano del Rosario later accused his boss, barangay captain Apolonio Policarpio Marcelo Jr., of masterminding the killing. He also tipped off authorities where the bodies of the two victims were buried.
Armed with a search warrant, the PNP-AKG raided Marcelo's residence in Pulong Yantok last Saturday at five in the morning and arrested the barangay official.
Authorities also recovered 3 pistols, one shotgun and four expired licenses.
The Bulacan PNP Crime Laboratory immediately processed the crime scene where the victims were allegedly burned and the quarry site in Apols Subdivision in Norzagaray, Bulacan, where both victims were hidden.
Authorities were able to recover parts of the victims' bodies and some personal belongings.
Tan's family said Marcelo owed them a lot of money.
“Sa totoo lang may anim na milyong utang sa amin yan. Baon na baon sa utang, maliban pa doon sa amin.”
Marcelo, however, denied all the allegations hurled against him.
“Hindi totoo yan, kalokohan yon. Hindi ko linya yan. Kami ay tao na may sariling hanapbuhay. Mayroon naman kaming kabuhayan. Bakit ko gagawin yon eh hindi ko naman linya yan? Bakit ako pinagkakatiwalaan ng mga tao? Nakita niyo naman ang track record ko, wala akong ganyang kaso,” Marcelo said.
Marcelo will be charged with violation of RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act and violation of Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code with two counts of Kidnapping with Homicide.