Three businessmen named in note with severed feet deny smuggling

The bag containing the severed feet and the message that came with it.*Romeo Subaldo photo

Three businessmen named in a note attached to two severed human feet left at a gasoline station at CL Montelibano Avenue in Bacolod City denied being smugglers on Thursday, March 30.

The message printed on a white paper said “Smuggler Agnus Botones, Atty. Rafael Ocampo, Mark Efren, protector Natnat”.

Ocampo, Botones and Efren, who are motorcycle buddies, issued separate statements denying the accusation.

“I am a practicing lawyer and I do not need to resort to smuggling to earn a living. Rest assured that the authorities can expect full cooperation from my end,” Ocampo said.

“Since there are no clear allegations, I could only surmise that it is about fuel smuggling,” Ocampo said.

Ocampo said he was an operator of two fuel stations in Bacolod City only until Aug. 31, 2022.

“On September 2022, I returned the stations to the dealer. During the entire time that I was operating the stations, I only sourced fuel from the brand’s depot,” he said.

Ocampo said he believes the people behind the message were of a mistaken belief that he still owns the stations.

“I am not involved in the fuel supply and/or operation of the CL Montelibano gas station. I cannot commit smuggling simply because I am not a fuel importer,” Botones also said in a statement sent to DIGICAST NEGROS.

Efren of Root Petroleum Inc. said the firm does not sell fuel.

“I wish to inform the public that Root Petroleum is an accredited hauler and is only paid for hauling/service fees. Root Petroleum does not sell fuel to any fuel station as it is purely engaged in hauling services”, Efren said in a Facebook post.

PCapt. Greeky Cayao, Police Station 4 chief, said PS4 investigators have already spoken to the businessmen who were named for possible leads on the persons who could have left the severed feet and message.

“It was apparently meant to scare them,” he said.

The police have yet to establish who the severed feet belonged to. Nobody with missing feet has been found, Cayao said.

Bacolod City Police Office Director, Col. Thomas Joseph Martir, said the businessmen named believe they know who are behind the prank against them.

It may have been done to scare them by former acquaintances whom they may have had a falling out with, he said.

The police are still determining where the severed feet came from and are not ruling out their having been taken from a funeral parlor.*

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