The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE 2 - 1:49 p.m.) Amid questions over his disappearance from the New Bilibid Prisons, road rage murder convict Rolito Go insisted on Thursday that he was kidnapped from the penitentiary on Tuesday by gunmen he claimed demanded a "huge" ransom but who eventually released him without taking anything.
At a press conference called by Philippine National Police Director General Nicanor Bartolome, Go said he and his nephew Clemence Yu were seized from the Inang Awa church inside the NBP compound in Muntinlupa City by four men who introduced themselves as agents of the National Bureau of Investigation.
“Sa may simbahan na Inang Awa, biglang silang pumasok, apat sila, naka-ID na NBI daw sila (At the church of Inang Awa, they suddenly entered, four of them, wearing IDs that said they were with the NBI),” Go said.
"Ang sinasabi lumalabas daw ako sa (NBP) compound. Sabi ko, paano ako lalabas, under treatment ako? (They say I go out of the compound. I say, how can I go out, I am under treatment)?" Go said.
Go was sentenced to life in prison for the 1991 murder of De La Salle graduate Eldon Maguan following a traffic altercation. However, he had been transferred to the NBP's minimum-security compound and assigned work at the church because of his old age.
The abductors forced Go and his nephew into Yu’s car, a white Honda Civic (UUR 805).
Narrating what he said happened at the church, Go said: "Pinilit kami ... pinuwersa ako sinama. Sinakay ako. Sabi ko, ''Di ako puwede sumama sa inyo, sa opisina muna tayo ng (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology). 'Di mo ako puwede dalhin, 'di ako sasama. Diretso tayo (sa) opisina' (We were forced ... I was forced to go with them. They forced me into the vehicle. I told them, 'I cannot go with you, we should go to the BJMP office first. You cannot take me, I won't go with you. We should go to the office)."
At first Go thought the men were taking him to the BJMP office as he had demanded, but as the vehicle was heading towards the maximum-security compound, "biglang nag- U-turn palabas. D'un ako lumaban (they made a sudden U-turn and headed outside. That was when I resisted)," a visibly thin and frail Go said.
“Tatlong beses ako nakipag-agawan ng kuwan (baril) … nakita ko, mukhang peke na eh. Dapat nagpaalam muna sa bureau (I tried to fight for possession of the gun three times … I saw that their claims were false. They should have asked permission from the bureau),” Go said.
He said they were taken to an isolated farm in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, where he was told he would be freed on payment of a P1-million ransom.
“Pinapapatay kami. ‘Nung Tuesday ng gabi, after one or two hours, may dumating mga tao sinasabi na humihingi ng ransom. ‘Kako ‘di ko kaya. Malaki eh. Binantaan po na papatayin kami (They threatened to kill us. Tuesday night, after one or two hours, some people came saying a ransom was being demanded. I said I could not afford it. It was too large. They threatened to kill us),” Go said.
He claimed they were eventually released when his kidnappers realized they would get nothing out of him.
“Pera ang gusto nila. ‘Nung pinakawalan ako, nakita siguro nila na walang mapipiga sa’kin. Pag papatayin ako wala rin silang makukuha kaya siguro pinakawalan ako (All they wanted was money. When I was released, they probably realized they could squeeze nothing out of me. If they killed me they would still get nothing, which is why they probably freed me),” he said.
Bartolome said that on the evening of August 15, police were informed that Go and Yu had called up their relatives to say they had been released somewhere in Sto. Tomas, Batangas and were on a bus bound for Manila.
They were reportedly given bus fare by their abductors.
The two were picked up by police in Alabang.
“Our operatives, with the family members, went there and true enough, Mr. Rolito Go and Mr. Yu disembarked from a Lucena bus that came from Sto. Tomas, Batangas,” Bartolome said.
Bartolome first presented Go early Thursday.
At 6:30 a.m. today, Yu’s Honda Civic was found abandoned in Sto. Tomas.
Despite persistent doubts about what actually happened, police are backing Go’s kidnapping account.
“It appears that based on the statements and circumstances ngayon, it appears na sila nga ay kinuha ng puwersahan duon sa loob ng (NBP) compound. Of course, ay ‘yun ay base sa aming investigation (now, it appears that they were forcibly taken from inside the compound. Of course, this is based on our investigation),” Bartolome said.
Authorities are now producing digital sketches of the suspects.
Go will be returned to NBP custody today while his nephew, Yu, will
remain in police custody.