Cops, local execs face probe over ICRC crisis

MANILA, Philippines – Police are now investigating at least 23 people consisting of civilians, policemen, and even village chiefs over their alleged involvement in the kidnapping of three International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers in the province of Sulu, authorities said on Friday.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Jesus Verzosa said in an interview that of the 23 people, two were policemen, who reportedly exhibited “questionable acts” at the height of the Abu Sayyaf kidnapping of Mary Jean Lacaba, Eugenio Vagni, and Andreas Notter.

Lacaba was released on Thursday night.

Verzosa, however, declined to name the two policemen but said that they were assigned at the Sulu provincial police office.

He added that the two policemen were now restricted to barracks pending the results of the investigation.

Meanwhile, Interior and Local Government secretary Ronaldo Puno said police have also invited for questioning village chiefs and other officials on their involvement and knowledge on the kidnapping.

He said this move was to remove the “base of support of the kidnappers.”

“That means all the individuals, all the public officials, anyone who is giving aid and comfort to the kidnappers is considered now as liable for charges of being an accessory to this kidnapping,” Puno said.

Village officials in the nearby towns where the kidnappers were spotted were also invited for questioning, he said.

Abigail Kwok,

Published in: on April 3, 2009 at 3:47 pm  Comments Off on Cops, local execs face probe over ICRC crisis  
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