MANILA, Philippines – The "safe house" owned by the family of suspect Ferdinand dela Vega Jr, is situated in a more developed area of Tondo, Manila.
The cobalt blue house is 4 stories high. The street was nearly deserted Tuesday, August 7, with only handful of students walking by on their way home.
Just 6 days before, anti-kidnapping cops entered the house and found a 19-year-old Letran student, hogtied inside a small room. Police said the victim was deprived of food and drink over the two days he was abducted. The duct tape which covered his eyes were tied so tight that his face swelled when cops unrolled the adhesive.
Ironically, the house where the kidnap victim was kept was the home of Dela Vega. Neighbors told Rappler the suspect and some of his siblings live in the house.
Dela Vega and another suspect, Ralph Emmanuel Camaya, are cousins. Their mothers are sisters. It was unclear whether Camaya lived in the same house.
According to one local, the home is known in the neighborhood as a sort of party house, hosting boisterous gatherings which pierced the silence of many late evenings. Locals had no idea someone was held against his will inside for almost 3 days.
There were no police lines when Rappler went to the crime scene. (WATCH: Kidnapped Letran student cries after rescue)
According to the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group chief of staff Senior Superintendent Jose Molave Dueñas, they had concluded gathering evidence from the crime scene under the watch of the Dela Vega family.
"All we needed to document was the presence of the victim kept against his will," Dueñas told Rappler.