56 or 27, it’s still ‘K’ for kidnapping

The recent months, however, saw incidents of young women and children being abducted — no ransom demands, but abused, raped, and murdered.

September 11, 2022

The Philippine Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. said last week it has recorded 56 kidnapping incidents in the last 10 days. The Philippine National Police said it is just 27, since 1 January 2022.

Actually, regardless of the discrepancy in numbers, the spate of recent kidnapping and/or abduction incidents is appalling.

Regardless still if the PNP data showed that kidnapping or abduction cases were mostly related to the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, the fact stands that Filipinos and even temporary residents find themselves in danger in a country, like the rest of the world, that is grappling for normalcy and recovery amid a health pandemic.

These are reminiscent of the jitters brought by the sensational kidnapping incidents involving Filipino-Chinese a few decades back, the kidnap-for-ransom of foreign nationals by Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu, the bold abduction of 20 hostages from the affluent Dos Palmas Resort in Palawan in 2001, the disappearances of at least 34 e-sabungeros in May 2021 in different areas of Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan and Manila, among the long list of kidnap and abduction cases.

Kidnappings in less developed or developing countries are often politically or economically motivated. Some are acts of terrorism to draw attention to their cause or to extort money. Others are carried out to raise funds by selling abductees to human traffickers.

The recent months, however, saw incidents of young women and children being abducted — no ransom demands, but abused, raped, and murdered.

A 15-year-old female biker was found dead with bruises and cigarette burns on 12 August in Barangay Bonga Menor, Bustos, Bulacan, three days after she went missing.

On 15 August, a seven-year-old girl was found naked and dead inside a sack at the back of a house in Pila, Laguna. Her body had signs of abuse.

A 13-year-old girl, on the other hand, escaped from her abductors onboard a van in Caloocan City on 22 August.

At a time when our children are excited to be back to face-to-face classes, incidents like these are alarming.

Calls for government and law enforcers’ immediate action against individual perpetrators or syndicates are starting to snowball.

Senator Imee Marcos and the Commission on Human Rights urged the police to investigate recent incidents of kidnappings and killings, especially those that involve women and children.

House Minority Leader Marcelino “Nonoy” Libanan also urged law enforcers to suppress the rash of kidnap-for-ransom incidents before they become a bigger menace to Metro Manila’s peace and order situation.

The PCCCII said the disturbing kidnapping events perpetrated by the worse animals create a state of fear and uneasiness among the Filipino-Chinese community.

It makes sense to act fast before kidnappings and abductions mutate into a larger threat when more ordinary families shall grieve the deaths of their children and loved ones, lost to cold-blooded criminals; when resilient and optimistic people shall lose hope and live in fear and insecurity; when investors shall lose trust in the government and move their businesses someplace else; when tourists shall delist the Philippines as their destination; when the Philippines shall turn chaotic lorded by lawless groups; and when the economic recovery remains to be just on the drawing board.

Lest we forget that peace and order is a determinant of economic development, social order and political stability. It may sound academic but the absence of hostility expedites the growth of investments, generates more employment opportunities, and attracts more tourists.

A few months from now, we hope not to regret our apathy than taking decisive actions because there is no difference between 56 and 27; both are K-I-D-N-A-P-P-I-N-G-S.


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