Kidnapper-killers of Baguio businessman meted max jail term

BAGUIO CITY — Seven persons have been sentenced to suffer 40 years in prison after being found guilty of kidnapping for ransom and killing a businessman in Benguet 14 years ago.

In a 29-page decision dated Dec. 21, 2018 and penned by Regional Trial Court Branch 60 presiding judge Maria Ligaya V. Itliong, the court sentenced Paul Sumbad, Reymond Dulaycan, Gastrol Sarol, Jason Ling-lingan, Roger Agtulao, Cromwell Filog, and Danny Palapag with Reclusion Perpetua or a maximum jail term of 40 years.

The decision came 14 years after the accused were arrested for kidnapping and killing Senly Loy, a prominent businessman in Baguio and Benguet.

Aside from imprisonment, the court also ordered the accused to indemnify the heirs of the victim with PHP800,680 as actual damages, PHP70,000 as civil liability, and PHP200,000 for moral damages.

The two other accused–Eddie Bagni and Jefferson Ab-aboy, who served as state witnesses after admitting to the crime–were spared from the sentence. Bagni and Ab-aboy were employees of Sumbad, who masterminded the kidnapping, killing, as well as ordering the burning of the remains of the victim.

The decision mentioned that Loy was kidnapped on March 18, 2004 at Dizon Subdivision, Baguio City. Two months after he was taken by the assailants, on May 17, 2004, his burnt body was found by the National Anti-Kidnapping Task Force operatives in Barangay Abiang, Atok, Benguet, dumped and covered with rocks, and tires.

It further mentioned that the accused attempted to extort ransom money worth PHP10 million from the victim’s family, saying they had the victim alive.

However, negotiation decreased the ransom to PHP500,000, which, however, became futile, as the victim was already killed by the accused.

In deciding the case, the court used the testimony of the two accused-turned-state witnesses, who admitted to the crime and assisted the prosecution in strengthening the case.