Sir Dikomo tracked Hussien Tho Munir at the Boy Scout of Philippines dormitory in Manila. The dormitory had been popular among transients from the provinces, especially Visayas and Mindanao. In that dormitory, there were also three to four “permanent” dormitory residents. They were given special concessions as either national executive officials or major benefactors of the BSP. One of the permanent residents was Munir, who had been calling the BSP as his home for the past 8 months.
Although true-to-life events have partly inspired the stories presented in Miracles of Quiapo, this work in its totality is a work of fiction, a novel. Names, characters, business, events and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. No offense is intended for any mention of names, places or things that bears similarities with actual or existing names of persons (natural or juridical), places or things.
Aside from being relatively cheap, the dormitory was convenient for travelers from Mindanao to see Munir for a variety of reasons, the most common of which was deploying contract workers to Middle East countries. Tho also brokered for politicians—some of them at the national level—which explained why his callers sometimes comprised of politicians and would-be politicians from Mindanao. It had been a long time since schemers like them had made some seasonal business out of politics. But this time, talk was loud that the President was calling a general election in 1982. No one profited from commerce more than he who planned early for it, so the saying went.
It so happened that a policeman from Lanao del Sur, an acquaintance of Munir, had called on Sir Dikomo for an election-related operation in Mindanao. The policeman casually mentioned Munir, in passing, and asked Sir Dikomo if the latter knew him. Munir had extensive contacts in Mindanao, he assured Sir Dikomo.
“He can help us further develop our network of election operators, down to the provincial and municipal levels,” the policeman suggested.
“Where is he?” Sir Dikomo asked, referring to Munir.
Dormitory guests were surprised to see four men in uniform looking for Munir. Front desk ushered them to his room. Despite his relative popularity, Tho Monir could not hide his surprise (perhaps more embarrassed than irritated) when he knew Sir Dikomo was looking for him. It must have been at least two years since they last met, in downtown Quiapo. He suggested a cup of coffee at Candy’s.
“I did not know you were hiding here,” Sir Dikomo joked. “I got lucky somebody from my hometown tipped me on your whereabouts.”
“Let’s find a cool place outside,” Tho suggested.
Sir Dikomo started talking on the way out of the dormitory. “It’s about Sylvia,” he said. “Any news about her?”
“I can inquire about her at the recruitment agency tomorrow,” Tho picked his words in between steps.
Outside, along Natividad Street, a police car was parked. Three men in uniform casually chatted nearby. “I’ll be back in a minute,” Sir Dikomo told them.
Tho Monir and Sir Dikomo walked towards Candy’s—on Tho’s suggestion—which was some 100 meters away. Tho could sense the information Sir Dikomo sought was important enough that he was willing to walk that far for this meeting.
“That place is tension-free,” Tho said, pointing to the Boy Scouts dormitory, and at the same time changing the topic for a moment. “Seeing somebody in uniform could arouse antennas, you know.”
“I know,” Sir Dikomo quipped, “besides, it has been a while since somebody treated me with free lunch at Candy’s,” smiling.
“I don’t think they have lunch at 8:30 in the morning,” Tho retorted, surprised to see Sir Dikomo had suddenly stopped walking.
“But the truth is, this is going to be a short visit, Tho,” Sir Dikomo said, implying there was no need to go anywhere else. “I just really want to know if you know where Sylvia is.”
“In that case, we really need to have a lengthy talk. Besides, it has been a long time,” Munir insisted.
Munir had been indirectly mentioned in one of the cases against separatist rebels in Mindanao. Although that case had been resolved and Munir had disentangled himself clean from any allegations, Sir Dikomo still avoided being seen in public with him. Thus, he could only accede to the invitation with reluctance.
Munir of course had his own agenda. Being seen in public with police officers in uniform—him without handcuffs—bolstered his image as a law-abiding citizen, especially in places like Manila where prejudice was preponderant against goateed Muslim-looking men.
At Candy’s, Munir sought some assurance that Sylvia would not be hurt in exchange for the information Sir Dikomo was seeking. Munir knew that Sylvia had double-crossed Sir Dikomo. Fortunately for him, Sir Dikomo knew nothing more than the fact he and Sylvia had separated five or six years ago.
“I learned from the recruitment agency that Sylvia is back in Ongkong. She left three weeks ago.” Munir told Sir Dikomo the truth.
“I will go and ask my contacts to find her in Ongkong,” Sir Dikomo warned Munir with a whisper. Munir thought this was a bluff, and justifiably so, because he did not know that Sir Dikomo, while known as “boss chief with the ninja moves” among the underworld, was also working for OXD, and OXD had headquarters in Ongkong. While it was true the 200K pesos or so that Sir Dikomo would get for delivering an undocumented Homonhon Baby to OXD was insignificant, one never knew if such a collaboration, should things turn out well, would land him a bigger role in the organization. “So you better be square with me, Tho, or you can pack your things up at the Boy Scouts.”
With an almost imperceptible nod, Munir said he understood. “Give me your contact number so I can call you when something comes up.”
Three years ago, Sylvia asked him to keep her personal belongings for her. She felt at the time that her security in the Philippines somehow depended on it, and it was Munir, more than anyone else, who could offer to her the best guarantee that those belongings would remain in her possession when the time came up for her to refer back to them.
The items included a hastily done directory that showed the names of people and their telephone numbers. Three of those names, including that of Sir Dikomo, transacted with her in her effort to bid out Leandro Deo Renato “Anding” Moscavida, aka Masinloc Baby, aka Francisco “Franco” De Gracia.
Two days after Sir Dikomo met Tho Munir, the policeman was in his office when he heard his assistant talking on the phone, asking who the caller was.
Sir Dikomo rose from behind his desk when the assistant, cupping the speaker of the telephone, told him someone named Munir wanted to talk to him. Sir Dikomo found Munir worth an ounce of trust when he checked with the Bureau of Immigration to see if somebody named Sylvia Munir departed for Ongkong on the date Tho said she left. Tho’s information was accurate.
“Yes,” Sir Dikomo hollered in his baritone voice.
“I have something here which you might find useful to follow through,” Tho Munir said, an air of triumph perceptible from his voice.
“What is that?” Sir Dikomo asked.
“Names and telephone numbers—they may lead you to where Sylvia has consigned the baby,” Tho said.
“Dictate them to me.”
Sir Dikomo listed five names. He scanned the yellow pages for the next two hours but could not see entries that matched his list. He instructed three of his men to do the same. After three hours, they still could not find them in the telephone directory. He knew the last recourse was to try to contact them through the telephone numbers given to him. He did the dialing himself.
“Good afternoon, can I speak to Ms. Vida Corazon De Gracia, please?”
“Yes Sir! Sorry she is not around,” a man at the other end of the line replied.
“Thank you! This is from the DHL Express. We have a parcel mail for her. Can you confirm the delivery address please?”
“Please call again when she comes back, in about two hours.”
Sir Dikomo tried another number.
“Hi, good afternoon. This is Eugene from the Social Welfare Office Manila. I understand you are interested in adopting a child?”
“Yes, but that was a long time ago. We already have our own child. Bye.”
Sir Dikomo thought the Social Welfare Office line was working. He dialed another number.
“Hi, good afternoon. This is Mr. Cabangon from the Social Welfare Office Manila. I understand you are interested in adopting a child?”
“We do not know of a Mr. Cabangon from the Social Welfare Office, sorry,” a lady replied, and was about to hung up…
“Wait…” Sir Dikomo pressed, and the line went dead.
After two hours, Sir Dikomo dialed Vida’s number again.
“Hello, this is from DHL Express…”
“Hello,” Vida answered. “Yes, what about?”
“We have a parcel for you but it seems there had been a mishandling in transit. Delivery address had been defaced; we cannot read it. Can you provide that to us, please?”
“Yes, but how come you have our telephone number? You should find our address in the same place you found our number. Besides, I do not expect any registered mail or parcel from anyone. Sorry, but I need to be excused. Bye.”
Sir Dikomo was about to give up on the Sylvia Munir caper when he thought about confirming how much was in it for him. He was resigned to moving on to another case—possibly even outside of the OXD, like the upcoming national and local elections—if the trouble was not worth it.
He arranged for a meeting with his OXD agent. Sir Dikomo negotiated for 3 million pesos for the baby, now a little more than 5 years old, saying OXD saved more than 5 years’ worth of baby-sitting him. When the new deal was closed, he offered 250K for each of the same three operatives that attempted to kidnap Deo Renato, aka Anding, in March of 1976.
The three OXD operatives were known by their aliases: Punzi, 35, a former track and field Olympian and a college physical education instructress; Benjo, the burly-built man who introduced himself as Metrocom; and Invanho, the hulk. All three used to be members of the police force but had been dismissed for a variety of offenses.
With cunning, Punzi was able to extract the addresses of two of the five names given to them by Sir Dikomo. But after a week of surveillance, they found no one resembling a 5-year-old-something boy. They were also on the lookout for the Toyota Corolla whose owner they had encountered in Sta. Cruz, Manila, some five years ago. There was none.
At the telephone company, they found the address of Vida Corazon De Gracia—the fourth entry in Sylvia’s list. Her house was located in between the boundary of Quezon City to the north and Manila to the south. From Max Chicken—located a block away from the gate—they could see what came in and out of Vida’s gate.
In 25 days, they took turns in looking at Vida’s gate from Max Chicken. They were able to establish some kind of a routine. On eight occasions they tailed the Toyota Corolla and found that the three of them—Vida, David, Franco—were always together. They went to Santo Domingo church on a Sunday. On Fridays, they either went to Greenhills, San Juan, or to Cubao for shopping; when in Cubao, they also dropped by at Fiesta Carnival for Franco’s fun rides and frolicking. David went out of the house for several hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. He commuted whenever he went out alone. Most days of the week Vida and Franco were at home.
They figured that the best day on which to execute their plan was either a Sunday or a Friday. For some reason, either influenced by superstition or anything no one had an ample explanation for, they ruled out “working” on a Sunday.
The following Friday, 13 March 1981, the plan to snatch Franco was set. Sir Dikomo’s directive was to bring the boy to his apartment in Quiapo. The OXD guys thought it was odd. But there was no place more secure than an apartment 150 meters away from his office at the police station. When Punzi asked him that Quiapo could be a problem on a Friday due to traffic, Sir Dikomo assured them that he would deploy enough men to ensure traffic would flow smoothly along Quezon Boulevard on the designated day.
But three days before Friday, the OXD operatives, convinced with their assumption that the would-be victim was good for at least a 5-million-peso ransom, had decided to double cross Sir Dikomo in the event something goes wrong with the extraction procedure. They knew what double crossing OXD meant to their overall health and security, but they also believed that they had the kind of talent and daring that otherwise would get paid several times over than what they were getting from Sir Dikomo. They thrived in high-risk and high reward contracts. And this was just one of them.
FRANCO, DAVID AND VIDA were out strolling in Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan to buy something for the boy. Vida had no way of knowing Franco’s exact birthdate, but by conjecture she thought he was close to a month old when she took him in March of 1976. The last two weeks she had been thinking of buying a birthday present for Franco.
The OXD operatives scanned the parking lot. They saw the red Corolla and they parked their car along the walkway that led to the Corolla. They waited for less than an hour before they spotted the three approaching towards their location. Benjo and Ivanho alighted and left open the passenger door to the side of the walkway. Then they stood a few meters away from the open door of the car, looking at a nearby newsstand and acting as if they were attracted to a picture in a tabloid. Punzi was at the wheel.
Just as Franco, David and Vida came close to the Lancer, Benjo shoved Franco to the waiting Lancer while Ivanho pushed David away. With their 45 caliber pistols drawn, Benjo and Ivanho aimed their firearms at both David and Vida.
With little resistance, Benjo tossed Franco—weighing less than 20 kilos—inside the back seat of the Lancer, after which he also hopped in. His back facing Franco, Ivanho again pointed his gun at the still shocked David and Vida. Invanho then scurried back to the Lancer, climbing at the front seat beside Punzi, who pumped the gas pedal in a manner that caused the Lancer to furiously dart forward, its doors dangling from the side.
In less than 5 seconds, David and Vida lost Franco to kidnappers. Vida motioned to David to look for a public telephone booth. They found one at the far end of the shopping mall. Vida dialed the number of a high-ranking police officer whose mother was a family friend. She also dialed the number of another high-ranking military officer whose father was in the same combat unit that was led by her late husband. For good measure, she also called yet another active police officer whose father was a fellow judge in the appellate courts.
She told them the plate number, color and make of the kidnappers’ vehicle. She also told the would-be pursuers that the kidnappers were heading towards Sta. Mesa, Manila.
As soon as Vida and David were inside their home, she dialed retired Army General Rosendo Dimas Uy, one of his late husband’s closest friends and mistahs. He owed his life to her husband when they were young, fighting communist rebels in Negros Occidental. The help she asked from everyone else might not materialize, but Gen. Uy was one she could rely on all the time. Also, among Vida’s acquaintances in the military, both active and retired, Ros Uy was the go-to guy on matters that involved kidnap-for-ransom cases.
“Ros,” Vida blurted out, trying to control her voice, “something happened to Franco. Kidnapped about 30 minutes ago.”
After providing him the details—plate number, car make, features of kidnappers (they were in bonnet), etc.—Ros Uy assured her of his help. “Let’s see what I can do,” he said. “I will set something up in my network to track new movements. In the meantime, call me as soon as somebody contacts you for ransom.”
AS THE KIDNAPPERS approached the intersection of Magsaysay Boulevard and Victorino Mapa Street, they saw parked police cars with overhead blinking lights some 500 meters away. It looked like a hastily improvised checkpoint had been set up. As vehicular traffic started to slow down in bunches, Punzi turned the Lancer until it did a 360. To their surprise, another patrol car came into sight, some 600 meters away, directly opposite to their path. There was an intersection between them, and a decision needed to be made in seconds.
“Let’s go… to the right,” Ivanho suggested.
Punzi was about to turn the wheel to her right when she saw a jam just ahead of them.
“Back up a little and turn left instead,” this time it was Benjo.
Turning right would have led them to Kalentong in Mandaluyong, then Sta. Ana towards Quiapo. Turning left meant reaching Manila through Sampaloc, onwards to Espana Boulevard, then finally Quiapo.
In Sampaloc, streets were clear. They headed for Trabaho Street where, upon reaching the Espana intersection, they saw a police officer reaching for his hand-held radio, who frantically yelled to it. They know Sir Dikomo was within 4 kilometers and felt they could dash for home base unscathed. Within minutes they heard sirens blaring and patrol lights blinking some three hundred meters behind them. Punzi pushed the gas pedal harder.
A couple of minutes later, while turning left from España to Quezon Boulevard, heading towards Quiapo, they heard more sirens from atop the Recto overpass. They reckoned that unless they traversed Quiapo fast enough, at least three groups of police patrols could intercept them—one from Raon Street and two who were closing in from behind them.
On reaching the corner of Raon Street, the OXD operatives were blocked by vehicular traffic. In front of them were hordes of devotees of the Black Nazarene, who were blocking one-fourth of Quezon Boulevard. Even astute logistics planners like the OXD operatives did not expect this swell of human and vehicular traffic in the area on such a crucial day.
As traffic crawled to a halt, Punzi saw from the rear mirror the doors of a police car opened. Three men in uniform rushed out, armed with short weapons. Invanho turned to his right just as more patrol cars had positioned themselves, from which he also saw policemen leaping out, fully armed as well.
There was no time to lose. They left the Lancer in the middle of the road, Franco in tow. They hurriedly moved inside Monee Foos, a popular mami house in that part of Quiapo. At the sidewalk, Ivanho hurriedly bought an assortment of clothing items.
Inside Monee Foos, Benjo took Invanho’s props and brought Franco to the comfort room where he changed the boy’s outfit to make it look like he was a girl. He also put on a cap and jacket on top of his t-shirt. Then he and Franco slid out of the comfort room.
A waiter was about to take their order when Punzi and Ivanho saw Benjo coming out of the comfort room. They politely apologized to the waiter, saying they forgot something outside and needed to leave. In seconds they left Monee Foos, one after the other.
Ivanho was the last to leave. He lingered for a while among the throngs of passersby at the sidewalk fronting Monee Foos. He saw several traffic cops, probably the ones assigned by Sir Dikomo, but instead of facilitating the flow of traffic, they kibbitzed on the sudden appearance of fellow cops. This was understandable, for Sir Dikomo, working on his own private and secret agenda, had not informed them beforehand that something like this could happen. The Lancer, now deserted, was surrounded by cops and onlookers. Ivanho saw and heard policemen asking witnesses as to which direction the Lancer’s passengers went.
He casually walked away when he saw the uniformed men making moves to disperse, some of them heading directly to Monee Foos. Around 50 meters away, towards Quiapo Church, he met Punzi and Benjo who were waiting for him.
The 11:30 AM mass was about to end. They crept inside the church as devotees milled out, whose hands reached up to heavens to bathe in the sprinkling of holy water. The sea of church goers was perfect for them to blend in and to conceal themselves away with the crowd.
The team needed some quick huddle time. They felt the place was right for it.
In whispers, Invanho proposed that they could go and tell Sir Dikomo that they lost the child while trying to escape from pursuers.
“Where… at which point of the chase…” Punzi asked. “We need to have a uniform alibi.”
“At Monee Foos, of course,” Benjo said, also in whispers but with evident conviction.
“And that?” Punzi motioned to Franco, hand-clamped by Ivanho, with her kisser.
Looking around, Benjo spotted a closet at the back of the church fronting the altar. He walked towards the area and tried to open it. Pleasantly surprised, he found it unlocked. From what he saw, he could tell that it was a storerage room. He could also see what he thought were dried and withering sampaguita flowers that have been collected from the foot of images inside the church.
He signaled Ivanho to tie Franco up with packing tapes and to deposit him in the dark part of that storeroom or service area box. Then Ivanho locked Franco, whose mouth was also sealed with a tape, inside it.
“Watch over it,” Benjo directed Punzi. “We will go find Dikomo and tell him we lost the child. We shall be back in a few minutes.”
SIR DIKOMO HAD FELT uncomfortable for the last half an hour. He had been expecting a call from the OXD operatives. That he has not received any meant most likely that something went wrong with the operation. When instead he got a call from the sub-station informing him of the massing of troopers around the Quezon Boulevard area, he felt worried, tensed, and alarmed.
He directed five of the seven of his subordinates to follow him. They hurriedly left for Quezon Boulevard, which was just about a hundred steps away. Then they crossed the now crowded street, passing through the Lacson Underpass. At reaching Plaza Miranda, Sir Dikomo saw that all vehicular traffic was at stand still. Over at the vicinity of Raon Street, police patrol cars were blocking all other vehicles
He and his men rushed to the densely crowded area. On meeting the uniformed men, he introduced himself, firmly stating that he was the Chief of Police in the Quiapo area and announced that he was in charge. The tone was authoritative, suggesting in more ways than one that he felt offended that no coordination was conducted with his office before the whole ruckus in his place erupted.
When informed that a hot pursuit operation against three kidnappers was ongoing, he demanded more details.
Who are the suspects? How many? Where are they? Sir Dikomo wanted to know.
Informed that the suspects and their 5-year-old-something victim went inside Monee Foos and had not been seen since, and that no one could tell if a toddler had ever come out of the restaurant, Sir Dikomo’s team stormed the place. They saw about ten policemen inside the restaurant, three were descending from the stairs that led to the second floor, and at least three were inspecting the comfort room.
“It was locked from the inside,” an investigator informed Sir Dikomo, “so we forced it open. There was none inside.”
Sir Dikomo and his men rushed outside and walked briskly towards the Quiapo Church. Have the OXD guys reached the apartment? He certainly had hoped so.
Beside the church and wading their way towards the street side entrance of the Lacson Underpass, Sir Dikomo and his men were slowed down by the growing density of church goers who were now mixed with purely onlookers curious to know what the combined police and military operation was all about. One could sense that even the policemen in the area had the look of an amused spectator. At Raon, Sir Dikomo had earlier directed all uniformed men to block all traffic coming in and out of Quezon Boulevard.
Fortuitously, Sir Dikomo took a quick glance to his right and there he saw Benjo and Invanho stepping out of the church. Then there were two youngsters who followed them from Raon who shouted:
“There! The kidnappers!”
Almost everyone heard this, and all eyes turned to Benjo and Ivanho. Before Sir Dikomo could move a muscle, he saw his men, along with several other patrolmen he did not know, pulling out their pistols and sprinting towards Benjo and Invanho.
Weaving themselves behind the throng for cover, they duo slipped swiftly back inside the church. People scampered away as policemen charged in their direction.
Inside the church, Benjo and Ivanho stealthily passed by Punzi. They told her to leave the hidden treasure behind and to scurry out of the church as fast as she could.
Sir Dikomo knew every alley in Quiapo, even the narrowest of them. From the Quezon Boulevard side of Lacson Underpass, he walked briskly towards the middle of Plaza Miranda where he knew he could spot fleeing rats. It certainly helped that the crowd here was not as dense as it was at Quezon Boulevard. Like a raptor, he scanned the field, looking for his prey. He saw not even a shadow of the trio.
He needed to trust his instincts. Eyes darting from alley to alley, Sir Dikomo focused his gaze on a familiar gait. Ivanho! He was not fleeing, just like a usual buyer of herbal products and candles peddled at a sidewalk leading to Carriedo.
It occurred to Sir Dikomo that the OXD operatives were blending well with the crowd. They were taking advantage of it. He also thought that the pursuing officers were looking for the child more than they were hunting the suspects. He wondered on whose authority these fellow law enforcers were operating. He wondered why they showed up so fast, and in such an emphatic force of at least 10 patrol cars. Yonder at the foot of the Quezon Bridge, he saw minutes earlier the arrival of armored vehicles of the Philippine Army.
He wondered if he might have come in conflict with another government official, perhaps one who was probably more consequential than he was.
His sly idea of sneaking beside Ivanho to ask him where one could find the boy was dashed by those thoughts. Witnesses, including friendly forces, establishing his contact with the suspect could doom his fate. That OXD and Sir Dikomo were associated in some way could be alleged against him. He could not accept the thought that he might end up being investigated for such an allegation.
He had to settle with an empty bag, at least for now, and let Ivanho go. The former bemedaled cop, discharged from the service for a botched cocaine haul that threatened to expose a high-ranking politician, had just appeared to him to be the ultimate pro. One who did not panic, Ivanho to him was simply grace under fire.
Sir Dikomo followed Ivanho with his intermittent and glancing gazes as the latter casually made his way towards Sta. Cruz, Manila. Sir Dikomo saw, like he expected, both Punzi and Benjo waiting, in the guise of rummaging through bargained sidewalk merchandises, for their associate. Sir Dikomo could tell with certainty that they were not in possession of the boy.
Baffled, Sir Dikomo retraced his steps towards Raon. Although often lost in his own thoughts, he sometimes talked to his subordinates. Up to this point, he hardly noticed that they were keeping their noses close to him as much as they were tracking the suspects.
At Raon, Sir Dikomo—being the man in charge—answered questions from press reporters who had just arrived at the scene.
“My information is that, and we still need to further investigate this, we have a kidnap situation here. That one”—pointing to the unoccupied Lancer—“is the alleged kidnap vehicle. Three suspects and a child—a boy this tall—were seen by witnesses to have come out of that vehicle. Then they fled to this area”—pointing in the direction of Monee Foos—“but since then we could not track the suspects. Witnesses again pointed to the supposed suspects over there”—pointing to Quiapo Church—“and I was there. But we could not pin them down due to the swelling crowd…”
“Yes, we have been told you did your best to apprehend the suspects at the entrance of the church…” a press reporter interrupted. “Do you have an idea in which direction the suspects fled?”
“No, but based on the zoning of the area, either Palanca here or Sta. Cruz there are likely places where they can find refuge… or take jump off points for other sanctuaries. I need to buzz the Chief of Police in Sta. Cruz now, if you excuse me, please…”
Sir Dikomo conferred with fellow police officers who converged at the area aboard patrol cars. After securing the help of witnesses (mostly by-standers in the area) who agreed to join them in their cars, Sir Dikomo and the troopers also agreed that the chase will proceed to Sta. Cruz.
Minutes later, brandishing a megaphone, he instructed traffic enforcers to open all lanes for traffic to resume its flow. Applause and honks followed Sir Dikomo’s command. Motorists had been stuck in their vehicles for at least 30 minutes.
After talking briefly with Police Major Andrei Mosende, the Chief of Police in Sta. Cruz, Sir Dikomo and his men left for Quiapo. The pursuing patrol cars could be seen lining up at Avenida and Palanca streets.
In Quiapo, he directed his men to proceed to the police station while he made his way towards the church’s convent. Always accorded with warm welcome by the priests, one of the parish staff members ushered him into the Rector’s office.
“Please sit down, General,” Monsignor Hoben Ubanon greeted him as they shook hands inside the latter’s office. “What’s that commotion about?” Ubanon did not know what Sir Dikomo’s actual rank was, but he addressed the cop “General” anyway.
“Apparently a kidnap situation, Monsi,” Sir Dikomo reported. “And I need your help.”
As usual, Sir Dikomo did not leave Monsignor Hoben’s office without finishing a cup of Batangas coffee. The essence of his request was for Monsi to report to him should any of his priests or staff members, including the Hijos, got wind of somebody resembling the kidnap victim.
Miracles of Quiapo
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ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND DISCLAIMER
The author is indebted to the memory of people whose lives have inspired kindness, compassion, and forgiveness among the many lost generations that followed them.
Although true-to-life events have partly inspired the stories presented in Miracles of Quiapo, this work in its totality is a fictional novel. No offense is intended for any mention of names, places or things that bears similarities with actual or existing names of persons, places or things.
Copyright © 2022 Ingming Aberia
All rights reserved.
Photo Credits: QuiapoChurch.com.ph