By Jeannette I. Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Quezon City police on Wednesday charged five persons, including an American national, over the alleged kidnapping of an 8-year-old granddaughter of a politician based in Abra province.
The complaint was filed in the city prosecutor’s office although the girl was yet to be rescued and pursuit operations against her alleged abductors were still being conducted by the antikidnapping group of the Philippine National Police.
QCPD director Chief Superintendent Mario dela Vega justified the filing as he reported the arrest of one of the suspects on a complaint initiated by former Abra representative and Lagayan town Mayor Cecilia Luna, the girl’s grandmother.
Named as respondents in the complaint were Guillermo Jorge Garcia, 44, of Salcedo Village in Makati City, who had been arrested; and Anthony Ricks, the girl’s American father. The complaint also said three other persons, including a woman, were involved in the kidnapping.
The alleged abduction happened at around 7 a.m. on Tuesday inside the campus of the School of the Holy Spirit at BF Homes Subdivision, Barangay Holy Spirit, in Quezon City
Investigators said Ricks and his three companions arrived at the school in a car driven by Garcia, and waited for the girl to emerge from her classroom.
Ricks then approached the girl and said he was simply fetching his daughter when questioned by a security guard.
The group then drove off with the girl towards Paredes Street. From there, Ricks, the three other respondents, and the girl transferred to another car, leaving Garcia alone in the first vehicle. Garcia was later arrested while driving out of the subdivision.
Speaking to reporters, Luna said she was pressing charges against Ricks even if he returns her granddaughter.
According to Luna, the kidnapping stemmed from a custody battle between Ricks and her London-based daughter.
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