Philippine National Police

Police arrest suspects in disappearance of 6 sabungeros

Jairo Bolledo

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Police arrest suspects in disappearance of 6 sabungeros

MISSING SABUNGEROS. Families of missing cockfighting aficionados or sabungeros, hold a dialogue with Justice Secretary at the Department of Justice DOJ office on December 2, 2022.


The suspects are arrested over a year and nine months since the six sabungeros went missing in Manila

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) announced on Friday, September 15, that they arrested the suspects in the disappearance of six sabungeros or cockfighting aficionados, who went missing in Manila last year.

In a press briefing on Friday, PNP chief Police General Benjamin Acorda Jr. said that cops arrested six suspects over kidnapping and serious illegal detention of the six sabungeros at around 1:45 pm, Friday. The following were arrested through the virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by Manila City Regional Trial Court Branch 40:

  • Julie Patidongan
  • Dondon Mark Carlo Zabala
  • Virgilio Bayog
  • Roberto Matillano Jr.
  • Johnry Consolacion
  • Gleer Codilla

The PNP said the court did not recommend bail, so the six suspects would not be allowed to post bail for their temporary liberty. Aside from the six, the police also arrested two companions of the suspects – Melchor Neri and Victorino Jocosol – for obstruction of justice.

Police arrest suspects in disappearance of 6 sabungeros

In recommending the charges against the six, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in December last year that the suspects “conspired” in the kidnapping of the six sabungeros who left Tanay, Rizal at around 1 am on January 13, 2022. The victims were headed to the Manila Arena to join a stag derby.

The DOJ added that the victims were forced to board a gray van at around 7:30 pm and were never seen again. The missing aficionados were identified as:

  • John Claude Inonog
  • James E. Baccay
  • Marlon E. Baccay
  • Rondel F. Cristorum
  • Mark Joseph L. Velasco
  • Rowel G. Gomez

In February this year, the PNP released the photo of the six suspects, almost coinciding with the announcement of DOJ Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla that a P6-million reward will be given to those who can give information about the suspects’ whereabouts. –

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.