The Department of Justice nailed the Prosecution Services for the conviction of six individuals involved in the crime of kidnapping for ransom of a debt collector and his driver in Pilar, Bataan in 2009.
In a 33-page Decision, the Balanga City, Bataan Regional Trial Court - Branch 2 found Sesenando Martin, Gallardo Martin, Leonardo Alincastre, Nestor Juliano, Rammil Calma and Cristina Mendoza guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of kidnapping for ransom (Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Republic Act No. 7659).
The court sentenced them to suffer the prison term of reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole and to pay, jointly and severally, victims Yasar Irfan and his driver, Reymond Baricas actual and moral damages.
During trial, the victims positively identified all six accused as those involved in the kidnapping incident. They said the kidnappers initially demanded P50M as a condition for their release, which was later reduced to P400,000. Irfan's father delivered the money to the accused, which paved the way for the release of the two victims.
In its ruling, the court said "the prosecution has shown that the victims Yasarlrfan and Raymond Baricas were kidnapped xxx " and that "the prosecution's evidence established the participation of each of the accused xxx."
Justice Secretary Emmanuel L. Caparas commended Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia Torrevillas and Assistant State Prosecutor Alexander Suarez for the successful prosecution of the case.
He said, "This will send a strong message to criminals that the country's justice system is at work. However, the immediate and utmost cooperation of the victims' relatives and families with authorities also play a major factor in the government's victory against kidnapping for ransom activities."