Cops rescue Japanese kidnap victim

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 10 2018 03:21 PM

MANILA - Cops on Tuesday said they have rescued a Japanese national in Bulacan who was abducted by his fellow Japanese and Filipino cohorts.

Yuji Nakajima was rescued in Plaridel town last Thursday after operatives received information from a concerned citizen regarding his whereabouts.

Supt. Elmer Cereno, spokesman of the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group, said they first received word about the kidnapping from the Japanese Embassy.

Nakajima arrived in the Philippines on March 22 together with Yusuke Obara, and they stayed in one of the hotels in Ermita, Manila, said Cereno.

Police investigation showed Nakajima went with Obara to the Philippines so he can work to pay his debt to the latter.

"On March 24, may 2 persons na pumunta dun sa tinitirhan ni Mr. Nakajima, at inimbita siyang sumama. So, Mr. Nakajima called Obara asking kung kilala n'ya 'yung mga ito. Mr. Obara told him sumama ka na lang sa kanila,” he said.

Nakajima said he was surprised to see another Japanese, who was later identified by police as Miyashita Takashi, in the vehicle when the Filipino suspects, Roberto and Reggie Reyes, escorted him to the vehicle.

Nakajima was moved from safe house to safe house by the Reyes brothers.

“As the story goes, March 24 pinaglipat-lipat siya ng safe house and on March 25 ito yung magkapatid na suspect si Roberto at saka si Reggie ang may hawak sa kanya, na kausap nitong si Mr. Takashi,” Cereno said.

Upon the instructions of the informant, the PNP-AKG formed an operating team to go to a drugstore in Plaridel, Bulacan to rescue Nakajima.

Operatives said Nakajima was accompanied by Vergel Lumague when he was rescued on Thursday. Both were brought to the PNP-AKG office for investigation.

ACCOMPLICE ARRESTED

In a follow up operation on April 6, PNP-AKG also arrested Takashi in his residence in Parañaque who turned out to be a fugitive in Japan.

“According to the consul na Japanese na information na binigay dito, Takashi is a fugitive and nung September 11, 2015 pa cancelled yung kanyang passport,” Cereno said.

PNP-AKG said Lumague, who was with Nakajima when he was rescued, was instrumental in the rescue. Lumague is the cousin of suspects Roberto and Reggie, who were hired by Obara and Takashi to kidnap Nakajima.

“Itong nagturo nito na si Mr. Vergel Lumague, sinabi niyang nag-text daw itong mga suspect, na may dadalhin silang kaibigan na Japanese national doon sa bahay nila. Nagulat nga itong si Mr. Vergel, parang may unusual na nangyayari. So siya na rin ang naging susi para mapahiram yung cellphone sa biktima at don natin natunton at na-rescue itong si Mr Yuji Nakajima,” Cereno said.

“Nakita mismo nung victim, na may inabot na pera na si Mr. Takashi doon sa magkapatid. Then pinipilit din nung mga suspect na tawagan ng suspect yung mother niya sa Japan para magsabi. Kung hindi ito siguro na pre-empt, kukuha sila ng pera sa magulang ng victim sa Japan para ipadala dito. Imagine dumating siya ng March 22 dito then March 24 he was allegedly abducted then more than 10 days bago natin siya na rescue,” Cereno added.

The PNP-AKG is now looking for alleged mastermind Obara and another Filipino lookout.

Cereno said it was possible Obara got the services of Takashi and the Reyes brothers to kidnap Nakajima.

Authorities recovered from the suspects the victim’s passport, cards and a gun loaded with ammunition.

“May nakuha tayo dun sa sasakyan na isang caliber 9mm,” Cereno said.

The 3 suspects were charged with serious illegal and violation of RA 10591 or Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition.