Eighteen years after committing the crime, the seven men involved in a kidnap for ransom in the Philippines have been sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The charges stem from the kidnapping and illegal detention of a husband and wife, along with their housekeeper in 1997.
In a 1,503 page decision, the judge found ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ that the seven men were guilty. A co-accused female was also found guilty as an accomplice. She was released after the court hearing as her sentence of 12 years and 10 months exceeded her sentence.
Considered the longest trial in the history of kidnapping for ransom cases, the victims were originally abducted on April 7, 1997. They were released the following day after a ransom of 400,000 pesos was paid.
At least nine suspects were arrested in an entrapment sting by the Task Force Dragon in May 1997 after one suspect surrendered to authorities and turned state witness against his partners in crime.
The Philippines was recently listed as one of the worst countries in the world for impunity.
Today, two of the suspects are already dead and five others are still at large.
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