By Aaron Recuenco
Love forgives. Love forgets. And it’s because for this 41-year old American, his love for his Filipino girlfriend lasts forever.
This is their story, as told by the Anti-Kidnapping Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
When the AKG operatives were informed on Saturday that a woman was kidnapped in La Union, a small group of anti-kidnapping operatives and investigators were immediately deployed to safely rescue her.
The demand is P5 million and there was a sense of urgency to rescue her as there exists a threat on her life if the money is not immediately delivered, according to AKG director Col. Jonnel Estomo.
Estomo said they have all the reason to believe that it was a case of kidnap-for-ransom since the abducted Filipina’s live-in partner is an American citizen who had just arrived in the country, and the story that the victim was taken by two armed men from her hometown in Caba, La Union and was taken to Dagupan City is somewhat credible.
But when the victim was rescued in a budget hotel in Dagupan City, the AKG operatives immediately sensed that there was something wrong. It was during the strategic interrogation that the supposed kidnap victim squealed that it was all a hoax.
The names of the two lovers were withheld upon request of both their family.
“It all started when her American boyfriend went to the Philippines in May this year and discovered that their savings in the bank was already emptied,” said Estomo.
Based on the background investigation, Estomo said the American and the Filipina met in Kuwait in 2015 and immediately fell in love.
When the Filipina went back home, the American started sending her money for their savings. Police found out that since 2015, the American was able to send the Filipina a total of $300,000, or approximately P15 million.
And since the money includes daily expenses and the construction of their house, the American thought that they have at least P5 million savings in the bank.
Estomo said that when the American asked the Filipina victim to show him the bankbook, the latter refused and went ballistics. It was then that the American found out that what was left in their savings is P300.
But despite the incident, the American reportedly forgave his live-in partner and decided to forget everything by asking her to come with him to the United States.
The Filipino girlfriend refused and instead burned their house in Caba town in La Union. On Saturday, she went missing.
The AKG was informed of the abduction, according to Lt. Col. Elmer Cereno, AKG spokesman.
He said that it was the victim’s daughter from his previous relationship who received a text message that her mother was taken by two armed men and was taken to Dagupan City.
“They were also told to prepare P5 million in exchange for her release,” said Cereno.
During the rescue operation, AKG operatives found several withdrawal slips indicating that the victim emptied their bank account with her American boyfriend.
The American, despite the incident, would not press charges and was already reunited with his ‘abducted’ Filipino girlfriend.
According to Estomo, this is not the first time that they dealt with kidnap-me cases and kidnapping hoaxes.
“Aside from dealing with hardened criminals involved in kidnap-for-ransom, we are also dealing with bogus kidnapping claims,” said Estomo.