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Video captures abduction of ‘sabungero,’ families anxiously seek missing kin

A CCTV footage captured the abduction of one of the missing “sabungeros” in San Pablo, Laguna.

According to Emil Sumangil’s “24 Oras” report on Wednesday, the group of armed men went to the house of Ricardo “Jonjon” Lasco in Barangay San Lucas, San Pablo, Laguna last August 30, 2021.

A few minutes later the armed men came out carrying Lasco with a box, which allegedly contained jewelry, watches, and money belonging to his family.

They swiftly left the area, while Lasco has not been found ever since.

“Parang awa niyo na, maawa po kayo napapanood po ito ng mga kumuha sa bahay namin, maawa kayo. Hindi Diyos ang kumuha ng buhay ng asawa ko, kung hindi kayo po, magkaroon po kayo ng konsensya,” Lasco’s wife Princess Montanes-Lasco said.

(Please have mercy, those armed men who went into our house, have mercy. God did not take my husband's life, you are the ones who took his life. Have a conscience.)

According to his relatives, Lasco is a rooster breeder and master agent who handles online cockfighting bets.

Several families of the missing “sabungeros” held a vigil in front of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Tuesday.

They also appealed to surface their missing kin who were last seen at a cockfighting arena in Laguna.

“Dito po yung tinatawag na doublecross sa labanan. Ang tawag sa term ng sabungero ay ‘tsope.’ Pinapanalo nila yung hindi naman dapat manalo, para kumita sila at doon sila pupusta sa mananalo,” Police Major General Albert Ferro, director of PNP-CIDG, said.

(It is called doublecross in cockfighting. It is a term used in cockfighting which is called “tsope.” They will declare those who should not win to be the winner, then they will bet on it to make a profit.)

“Sa tingin ko, sila-sila nagkaroon ng hindi pagkakaintindihan, na nagdulot ng kung anuman,” Ferro said.

(I think they had a misunderstanding among themselves.)

The Philippine National Police (PNP) earlier said that it has identified some persons of interest linked to the disappearance of 26 cockfight enthusiasts from different areas.

Investigators have already talked to the management of the concerned cockpit arenas and their security personnel.—Richa Noriega/LDF, GMA News