2 'persons of interest' arrested in Caloocan businesswoman's kidnapping

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 30 2017 02:32 AM

The Philippine National Police-Anti Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG) on Friday arrested two "persons of interest" in the kidnapping of a businesswoman in Bagumbong, Caloocan City last Sept. 6.

Merlina Mariano-Gamiao, 58, was closing her sari-sari store in front of her house in Tierra Nova, Phase II Bagumbong, Caloocan at 8 p.m. when five men abducted her. 

PNP-AKG Director Senior Supt. Glenn Dumlao Director said the kidnappers demanded P10 million in exchange for Gamiao's release.

“Nag-take cognizance ang AKG tracking team sa kaso. Six negotiation calls ang naitala and they are demanding P10 million," he said.

While negotiations with the kidnappers were ongoing, the AKG was able to identify one of the alleged kidnappers as Lydio Dapetillo, who has an arrest warrant for murder, Dumlao said. 

“As SOP nagkaroon tayo ng investigation sa pamilya, sino ba ang possible suspects nila, nakaaway or what para ma-establish natin ang motive. We established the person of interest from them, si Lydio Depatillo from Bagumbong din ito. Noong nagbigay sila ng pangalan, 'yung Lydio Depatillo, we conducted record check, we found out na itong taong ito ay may standing warrant for murder,” Dumlao said. 

Dapetillo was also arrested previously in Bulacan in November 2015 wherein authorities confiscated high-caliber firearms. 

“We want to serve his search warrant pero kailangan muna naming ma-establish ang mga associate niya yung lima. May information na nga na tatlo silang nag-iipon-ipon, the tracking team opted to serve the warrant,” Dumlao said. 

After receiving information on the whereabouts of Dapetillo, AKG operatives immediately served Dapetillo’s arrest warrant. His companion Felix Garcia, was also arrested. 

The two persons of interest allegedly resisted authorities and took the firearm of one of the authorities.

“Yung sasakyan nila, they locked themselves inside ayaw nilang mag-paaresto. Naka-gain kami ng entry, binasag ang salamin, nakuha but nagkaroon ng scuffle, matagal na scuffle," Dumlao said.

"Si Felix Garcia, umagaw ng baril, inagawan niya si SPO2 Samonte, nagkaroon ng grappling ang dalawa, Si SPO4 Budomo 'yung isang operations, he came to the rescue of Samonte. Na-subdue nila but, nung inakyat sa sasakyan para dalhin dito sa opisina, another round of grappling occurred,” he added.

During the encounter, one of the AKG operatives, SPO4 Reynaldo Budomo, suffered a heart attack and was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.

"Nakakalungkot, may edad na rin, pa-retire na nga but he opted to join the operation. For 2 nights and 2 days na rin ang operation. 'Yung long scuffle na 'yon ang nag-trigger,” Dumlao said. 

Authorities discovered one hand grenade and a handgun inside the vehicle of the persons of interest. 

AKG is still investigating Dapetillo and Garcia’s involvement in the kidnapping of Gamiao, who remains missing. 

“Ever since walang proof of life na ibinibigay. Yung first day pa lang, after six calls, wala nang tawag. We are really doing our best para ma-solve itong kasong ito. We are just two steps away in resolving this case,” Dumlao said. 

Dapetillo and Garcia now face multiple charges.