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5 go missing after attending cockfight in Batangas

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Police are investigating the disappearance of five cockfighters from Bulacan who have been missing for two weeks now after reportedly going to Batangas for a cockpit tournament.

According to JP Soriano’s “24 Oras Weekend” report, two of the victims, identified as Edgar Malaca and Alexander Quijano, both from Calumpit, Bulacan, were fetched by a white van on the night of January 6.

Malaca told his sibling that they were going to a cockpit in Lipa, Batangas to prepare for a cockfight.

The next day, Malaca was still able to talk to his sister, affirming that they were already in Batangas.

“Talo daw po ‘yung lahat ng nilaban nilang manok. Tapos sabi niya do’n sa kausap niya na kaibigan namin, magpapahinga lang daw siya at may laban pa daw sila kinabukasan,” said Malaca’s sister.

(They said that they lost in all the cockfights. He then said to a friend that he was just going to rest as they would have another fight the next day.)

However, the families stressed they were no longer able to reach the two victims since January 8.

On January 9, someone informed them that the van where the two rode in was seen in Calumpit.

Upon checking, investigators from Calumpit Police found Malaca and Quijano's personal possessions in the van, along with those of three others who were also reported missing.

“Ito talaga ‘yung kanilang hanap-buhay. Tapos, itong van na nire-rent, sila ‘yung regular na nagre-rent nito. Kaya nga nagtataka ‘yung may-ari ng van na nagpapa-rent bakit na abandon bigla,” Calumpit Police Chief Police Lieutenant Colonel Wendel Ariñas said.

(This was really their livelihood. They were regular renters of this van. That is why the owner was wondering why the van was suddenly abandoned.)

The tearful family members begged anyone who has information about the location of the two victims to inform them of their whereabouts.

“Kung sino man po ang naka-ano sa kapatid ko, parang awa niyo na po, pakawalan niyo na siya. Kung meron man nakakakita sa kanya, pakipag-bigay alam niyo lang sana sa’min,” Malaca’s sister added.

(If anyone has done anything to my brother, please let him go. If anyone sees him, please also let us know.)

Quijano's wife emphasized that the two victims were good people and they might have just gotten involved if there were any incidents that happened.

“Mabait po ‘yun, wala pong kasalanan. Nadamay lang po siguro kung may naging problema. Mabait po ‘yung mahal namin sa buhay na nawawala. Tulungan niyo po sana kami,” she said.

(They were good people, they didn't have faults. They were probably just involved if there were problems. Please help us find them.)

The Calumpit Police is currently coordinating with the Philippine National Police regarding the matter.

The five individuals' disappearance comes after 10 men went missing after last being seen in a cockfighting arena in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

CCTV footage from a grocery in Laguna, showed that the vehicle the victims used was seen going to Manila.

According to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group- National Capital Region, the financier and other people who could help with the investigation have still not coordinated with them. — Giselle Ombay/BM, GMA News

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