6 suspects linked to missing sabungeros arrested

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 16) — Months after they were identified in December 2022, the six suspects allegedly involved in the disappearance of sabungeros or cockfighting enthusiasts were arrested in Parañaque City, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Friday.

"The last three days we conducted or executed the 24-hour surveillance intelligence operation kaya natunton namin ang location nila (that is why we located them)," PCol Jacinto Malinao Jr., PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group regional chief, told reporters.

Authorities apprehended Julie Patidogan, Carlo Zabala, Virgilio Bayog, Roberto Matillano, Jr., Johnry Consolacion, and Gleer Codilla through an informant following a two-month surveillance and intelligence operation.

Malinao said the informant will receive the reward worth ₱6 million that was previously promised by the PNP.

The suspects are facing charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention. They also have yet to reveal the mastermind and their motive for the kidnapping and the whereabouts of the victims, namely John Claude Inonog, James Baccay, Marlon Baccay, Rondel Cristorum, Mark Joseph Velasco, and Rowel Gomez.

The sabungeros left Tanay, Rizal on Jan. 13, 2022 to go to the Manila Arena but were forced to board a gray van at around 7:30 p.m. that day.

Referring to the families of the missing sabungeros, PNP chief Benjamin Acorda said, "I hope that these developments will convince them further to be strong and to help us to really strengthen the case."

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