The Philippine Star

6 snatched in Zambo Norte; captors demand P.4 M

- By ROEL PAREÑO

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Suspected members of a criminal gang kidnapped six people, including two children, in Sirawai, Zamboaga del Norte on Thursday and demanded P400,000 for their release, police said yesterday.

Chief Inspector Helen Galvez, Zamboanga peninsula police spokespers­on, identified the victims as Feliciano Jerry Javier and his wife Elsa, both 28; Junior Javier and his wife Rica, both 22, and their children Val, 5, and five-month-old Vincent.

The victims, who are caretakers of a farm owned by municipal engineer Valiente Felizarta, were reportedly taken by the group of Jamilon Tukalan, alias Jamilon Wahab, in Sitio Maasom, Barangay San Nicholas.

Authoritie­s learned of the incident on Saturday after a neighbor of the victims reported that they have not returned to their homes.

Galvez said one of the kidnappers who identified himself only as Abu called a member of a crisis management committee created by Mayor Gamar Janihim and demanded the payment of ransom in exchange for the release of the victims.

She said the victims were allowed to talk with the crisis team and claimed they are in good condition.

The crisis committee rejected the ransom demand, saying it could only offer a “token” amount.

Galvez said the team is coordinati­ng with a sister of one of the suspected kidnappers to shed light on the incident.

She said the committee recommende­d law enforcemen­t operations in the area where the captives are believed held while negotiatio­ns for their release are ongoing.

2 Abus surrender

Meanwhile, two Abu Sayyaf bandits surrendere­d to personnel of the Joint Intelligen­ce Task Force unit in this city on Saturday.

Col. Leonel Nicolas, Joint Task Force Zamboanga commander, identified the surrendere­es as Asbi Ahaddin, 36, and his brother Apdal.

Nicolas said the bandits also turned over two rifles – an M16 and a Garand.

A total of 26 Abu Sayyaf bandits have surrendere­d since January, the military said.

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