Cagayan de Oro City

Court convicts 5 Cagayan de Oro cops for 2016 kidnapping

Herbie Gomez

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Court convicts 5 Cagayan de Oro cops for 2016 kidnapping

DARING. CCTV footgage shows a group of policemen abducting former overseas Filipino worker Enrique "Eking" Fernandez III (wearing helmet) in Cagayan de Oro on October 23, 2016. A court has convicted the policemen.

CCTV footage and boy's testimony about seeing the victim getting tortured result in policemen's conviction

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – A regional court found five policemen guilty of the abduction of a former overseas Filipino worker in Cagayan de Oro nearly seven years ago, and sentenced them to up to 40 years in prison.

The broad daylight abduction of Enrique “Eking” Fernandez III in Cagayan de Oro on October 23, 2016, was caught on CCTV camera, which became a vital piece of evidence against them. 

The footage showed the Cagayan de Oro-based policemen dragging the victim into a car outside an online gaming establishment in a busy section of uptown Cagayan de Oro in full public view.

Fernandez, who was 33 years old at that time, was never found.

The abduction happened more than three months after then-president Rodrigo Duterte – whose administration was widely criticized for its human rights record – rose to power.

Court convicts 5 Cagayan de Oro cops for 2016 kidnapping

Judge Ana Candida Casiño of the 17th branch of the Regional Trial Court of Misamis Oriental sentenced the policemen to reclusion perpetua – imprisonment of at least 40 years – for kidnapping.  

The convicted policemen are the following:

  • Senior Inspector Ereneo Ramirez
  • SP02 Jojo Lim
  • SP02 Alaindelon Tacubao
  • PO2 Sangkulan Hussien II
  • P02 Alejandro Ubanan

For kidnapping, the court ordered the policemen to jointly pay Fernandez’s heirs P350,000 in damages, excluding lawsuit costs.

But in a consolidated decision signed on Monday, March 20, Casiño dismissed the carnapping case against them, while two of their alleged accomplices, Federico Guevarra and Rolando Udasco, were acquitted due to reasonable doubt.

While the CCTV footage showed one of the suspects taking Fernandez’s motorcycle, prosecutors failed to show its ownership and registration papers.

“It was a bittersweet legal victory,” said Armando Kho, the lawyer of the Fernandez family, pointing out that the victim was never found.

He told Rappler on Wednesday, March 22, that he was glad to win a conviction against the policemen because “they were cops who operated like a crime syndicate.”

Kho said the CCTV footage and the testimony of a boy who saw Fernandez being tortured in Barangay Canitoan were what led to the policemen’s conviction.

The motive for the abduction has remained unclear to this day, but Kho said the suspicion was that Fernandez was kidnapped apparently in an attempt to force his partner to pay a ransom.

The victim’s partner, he said, just closed a multimillion-peso real estate deal at that time. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Accessories, Glasses, Face


Herbie Gomez

Herbie Salvosa Gomez is coordinator of Rappler’s bureau in Mindanao, where he has practiced journalism for over three decades. He writes a column called “Pastilan,” after a familiar expression in Cagayan de Oro, tackling issues in the Southern Philippines.