Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Along with the rise of kidnapping cases involving Chinese nationals in the country, Filipino anti-crime crusader Teresita Ang-See also revealed a parallel upswing in bogus abductions of casino players from the mainland.
In a phone interview, Ang-See said: "We are aware that some kidnapping cases involving Chinese nationals have been staged. These are casino players who lost a lot of gambling money. They want to get back their losses by staging their own kidnapping and asking for ransom from the relatives in China."
Ang-See, founder of the Movement for the Restoration of Peace and Order (MRPO), said that her group has received reports of at least four kidnappings of Chinese nationals last month in Pampanga and Metro Manila that turned out to be hoaxes or staged.
Ang-See said that these sham kidnappings should not distract the Philippine National Police and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) from addressing the "real and alarming" rise in number of visiting Chinese tourists who have been snatched against their will by uniformed men.
The anti-crime advocate earlier told the Philippine Daily Inquirer about the seven Chinese nationals who were kidnapped in separate incidents last month while on a tour outside Metro Manila last month.
She said the most glaring of these cases was the kidnapping of four Chinese nationals while visiting a relative based in Cavite last July 27.
She said the group was held in custody for one day and they were released only after relatives forked out 2.5 million pesos (US$59,000) in ransom.
Ang-See was dismayed that authorities merely shrugged off the report without investigating or penalising any of the policemen involved.
Interestingly, Ang-See said that the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines had denied any knowledge of these kidnapping cases involving its citizens visiting the country and had denied issuing a black travel warning on the country.