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Fugitive kidnap suspect in Batangas nabbed in SoCot

by Alejandro Saludo 
September 20, 2019



CAPTURED. Mug shot of suspect Walter de Castro Ozaeta, one of the most wanted persons in the Calabarzon region who is facing kidnap-for-ransom charges in Batangas. Ozaeta was arrested in Tupi, South Cotabato on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 19, 2019). (Photo courtesy of the Tupi municipal police station)


Police in the South Cotabato town of Tupi arrested Thursday one of the most wanted persons in the Calabarzon region, who is facing kidnap-for-ransom charges in Batangas.

Maj. Andres Sumugat Jr., chief of the Tupi municipal police station, said Friday suspect Walter de Castro Ozaeta, 35, was nabbed at about 4:30 p.m. at the JC Hotel and Convention Center in Purok 10, Barangay Poblacion.

Sumugat said the suspect was about to meet with South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr., who owns the hotel, when he was arrested.

"He was using the name Mike Macalindong and reportedly involved in the STL (Small Town Lottery) operations in South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat," he said.

Sumugat said the Calabarzon police earlier alerted police units in the province regarding the possible presence of Ozaeta in the area.
Citing records relayed to their unit, he said the suspect was facing kidnap-for-ransom charges with no bail recommended.

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Ozaeta, who was listed as a resident of Barangay Taysan, San Jose town in Batangas, has a standing warrant of arrest issued by acting presiding judge Catherine Morino-Monsod of the Regional Trial Court Branch 12 in Lipa City, Batangas.

In an interview, Tamayo said Ozaeta, using the name Mike Macalindong, scheduled an appointment with him to discuss the planned reopening of the STL operations in the province.

Tamayo said Ozaeta is reportedly a manager of the JY Archers Games & Entertainment Corp., the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office's authorized agent corporation for STL for South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.

However, he said an informant alerted him about the background and the presence of the suspect in his area.

"I immediately told my security escorts to hold him (Ozaeta) for verification," the governor said.

Tamayo said they coordinated the matter with the Tupi municipal police, which made the arrest after validating the suspect's identity.

The suspect was turned over to the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 12 (Soccsksargen) to facilitate his transfer to Batangas. (PNA)

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