Sr. Insp. Elias Dandan, Pikit police chief, identified the arrested suspect as Edward Cocal. He was sighted by police assets while eating at the Hill Park Restaurant in Barangay Poblacion in Midsayap North Cotabato around 12 o’ clock pm.
Dandan said Cocal did not resist arrest but instead voluntarily gave himself up to the apprehending authorities. “Maybe he sensed that police authorities were already surrounding the place and for that reason he voluntarily surrendered to us,” said the police chief.
Kidnapped along with Wallraf were his Filipina wife Sharon Mae Jackson, friend Consuelo San Juan and driver Diego Daniel Jr. They were abducted at Pikit in North Cotabato in the morning of May 31 but was released later in the afternoon when the abductors felt the pressure of the military, police and even the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) working together for the victims’ release.
Dandan said that Cocal was one of the couple’s contacts in their business, which involves buying and selling of some kind of supposed precious metals. The police chief said that Cocal was fetched by Wallraf’s group in Kabacan town before going to Pikit. Wallraf, however, mentioned no such story when interviewed by MindaNews upon his release, saying their vehicle was flagged down by five armed men at Barangay Bantulawan in Pikit.
Dandan said Cocal may be connected to the group of Datukan Samad, yet another suspect in the kidnapping.
Like Cocal, Samad is also facing kidnapping and carnapping cases filed by the police. Eight others are also charged in connection with the Wallraf kidnapping, Dandan said.
The complaints against the suspects were already filed on Tuesday before prosecutor Jose Agerico de Guzman.
Cocal is now detained at the cell of the North Cotabato PNP at Barangay Amas here and scheduled to undergo inquest procedure in court.