MANILA – After 18 years, suspects to the kidnapping of a Chinese-Filipino couple were finally charged guilty.
Seven members of the Waray-Waray gang charged for the 1997 kidnapping of spouses Virgilio and Christine Chua and their maid Analyn Simbajon were finally sentenced guilty.
Judge Marilou Runes-Tamang of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 98 issued a guilty verdict to the suspects who were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt on the charge of kidnapping with serious illegal detention.
Suspects Roger Ete, Crisanto Dollete, Agustin Quinala, Mario Esiderio, Cipriano Cornista and Diosdado Tandagan were found guilty and sentenced to suffer the maximum penalty of reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole, or up to 40 years in prison.
Esperanza Falcon was also found guilty as an accomplice to the crime and was sentenced to 12 years.
The suspects were also ordered to jointly pay the victims a total of P700,000 for damages. Falcon will shoulder P44,000, while the others will pay the rest.
The case was meanwhile, dubbed by the the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order (MRPO) as the longest trial in the history of kidnap-for-ransom cases in the country.