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MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice is set to file charges of robbery and kidnapping against three police officers involved in the case of a missing sabungero in Laguna last August 2021.
The disappearance of Ricardo Lasco of San Pablo City in Laguna was among a series of “missing person” cases related to the highly lucrative online sabong gaming.
It was the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group’s Special Investigation Task Group Sabungero, dubbed “CIDG SITG Sabungero,” which cracked the case open and identified members of the Philippine National Police as possibly involved in the case of missing “sabungeros”.
A DOJ investigating panel found probable cause to indict Police Staff Sergeant Daryl Paghangaan and patrolmen Roy Navarete and Rigel Brosas in the case of the disappearance of Ricardo Lasco of San Pablo City.
The DOJ said the case will be filed with the Regional Trial Court of San Pablo City.
In their complaint, relatives of Lasco positively identified the three officers as among the armed men who entered their residence at CG Brion Subdivision, Brgy. San Lucas, San Pablo City in Laguna on August 30, 2021.
The complainants said the armed men claimed to be operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and were arresting Lasco allegedly for the crime of large scale estafa.
The complainants also accused the cops of taking several valuables inside the house while Lasco’s family were held in the living room.
Before CIDG SITG Sabungero took over the cases, a complaint for kidnapping was already filed with the Office of the City Prosecutor of San Pablo City against the said armed men. The complaint though, was dismissed for insufficient evidence.
CIDG SITG Sabungero had actually identified several armed men who are members of the PNP – including a police lieutenant and a master sergeant – as being involved in the case of several missing “sabungeros”.
The task group filed a complaint with the names of the other suspects before the DOJ. The DOJ panel, however, recommended only the filing of charges against Paghangaan, Navarete, and Brosas because the three were identified by the complainants.
“As to the rest of the respondents, the complaints against them are dismissed for lack of probable cause,” the DOJ said. – Rappler.com