Philippine police arrest last suspect linked to coca cola executive killing

Philippine police announced Wednesday they have arrested the last known suspect in the killing of a Filipino Coca-Cola executive two years ago. Cesar Amado, 43, allegedly one of the organizers of the attempted kidnapping of Betti Chua Sy, commercial finance director at Coca-Cola Export Corp., was arrested at his hideout in suburban Quezon City last week, but the announcement of his capture was withheld until his identity was confirmed, said Oscar Calderon, head of the Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response unit.

Sy was shot through her car door when she refused to open it to her abductors. She later bled to death, and the kidnappers dumped her body wrapped in plastic garbage bags by a roadside. "This brings to a close the Betti Sy kidnapping-slay case," Interior Secretary Angelo Reyes said. Police said 19 other suspects have been arrested.

Senior Superintendent Tom Banas said an informant tipped off police to the location of Amado's hideout. A 1 million peso (US$18,500; Ђ15,700) reward had been offered for his arrest. Banas said Amado and his group are believed to have been involved in 11 other kidnappings, but he did not say how much they had received in ransoms. Calderon said two other suspected kidnappers, Jose Marin Maglanque and Jimmy Altoberos, also were arrested last week. They are suspected of being involved in the kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl three weeks ago and a 5-year-old girl in August, both in northern Pampanga province.

The kidnappers released the girl after her family paid a 2.5 million peso (US$37,000; Ђ31,400) ransom, and the boy was rescued unharmed by police at the suspects' hideout in Lubao, Pampanga, he said.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has ordered tough police action to curb kidnappings, which mostly target wealthy ethnic Chinese, and are often cited as a factor driving away foreign investors, reports the AP. I.L.

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