At least two men abducted a female Chinese national in Makati City’s central business district Monday night, police said Tuesday.
Initial reports from the Makati City police station showed that the abductors, who were also described as Chinese-looking men, dragged the screaming woman into a gray van with registration plate number LSA-880.
Police said the abduction happened in front of the Salustiana D. Ty Tower Building on Paseo de Roxas and Perea in Legazpi Village around 9:06 p.m.
In related developments:
• "I have ordered greater police visibility to ensure the safety and protection of all Makatizens, including foreign nationals who work and conduct business in the city," Makati Mayor Abby Binay said in a statement on Tuesday.
"I also urge everyone to make use of the Makatizen app to report crimes and other urgent concerns to the authorities, so as to ensure immediate police or emergency response. Contacting our authorities should be our first course of action.
• The Palace on Tuesday reminded the public to be vigilant following the kidnapping incident in Makati City, but assured Filipinos that it was still safe to go out on the streets since the case was “isolated.”
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said suspicious people should be reported immediately to authorities.
• The alleged kidnapping of a Chinese woman in Makati’s financial district was not a cause for alarm, said Senator Ronald dela Rosa, former Philippine National Police chief.
“It’s not really a concern... if that’s a kidnap-for-ransom victimizing wealthy Filipino businessmen, it’s a cause of concern to all Filipinos... but if the kidnapping was among Chinese, was there a Filipino kidnapped by a Chinese? But still, it is a crime and should be stopped," he said.
Investigators cited a witness as saying the victim “shouted on top of her voice asking for help.”
Another witness also captured a video showing the van speeding off with its door still open.
The witnesses told investigators they thought the incident was only a petty quarrel involving a couple.
Police gathered some pieces of evidence, including photocopies of the van’s deed of sale and photocopies of the identifications of one Mr. Jianwei, a Chinese national and resident of Unit 4C Richview Res. 33 Ortigas St. Pasay City; and a certain Mr. Chen Tangbin, also a Chinese National and resident of Eton Residences Greenbelt, Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City.
The authorities said the documents were left by the victim minutes after the incident.
Further investigation showed that the vehicle, with registration plate LSA- 880, was an aspen white Mitsubishi with l300 c-chassis and 2011 model, and was registered at the Land Transportation Office on Nov. 29, 2018. The vehicle had no previous record with authorities.
Makati City police commander Rogelio Simon immediately formed a team to conduct a thorough investigation on the matter. He said the woman could have known her abductors.
The authorities are now investigating the series of criminal incidents in the southern part of Metro Manila where most of the victims were Chinese nationals and employees of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations.
“We are looking into cases involving Philippine offshore gaming operations or online companies run by the Chinese, where their employees must have done something wrong,” said Simon in an interview with ABS-CBN.
The Makati City government earlier declared an indefinite moratorium on the issuance of new business licenses and permits to service providers of POGO due to rising criminality and prostitution.
In a statement, Mayor Abigail Binay said effective immediately, the city would cease issuing “Letters of No Objection” and stop accepting new applications for business permits from POGO service providers.
“We will no longer accept new applications for POGO service providers and crack down hard against illegal activities that are catering to POGOs and their employees within Makati,” she said. With MJ Blancaflor and Macon Ramos-Araneta