Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kidnapped Chinese woman freed in Mindanao

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 31, 2009) – Kidnappers freed Sunday a Chinese woman they seized in the southern Philippines after four days in captivity, officials said.

Officials said Mafin Wo, who was kidnapped May 27 in Kabacan town in North Cotabato, was released to government negotiators in the town of Pikit. It was unknown if ransom was paid, but other reports said some P13 million was allegedly paid to the kidnappers.

The military linked the Pentagon Gang in the kidnapping.

The gang was blamed for the spate of kidnappings-for-ransom in Mindanao. Other reports identified the 24-year old woman, from Fujian province, as Afen Ma.

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Ponce, a spokesman for the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the woman, whose brother-in-law runs several businesses in Kabacan, was freed at around 8.30 a.m. in the village called Bagoinged.

He also linked a senior Moro Islamic Liberation Front commander, Mayangkang Saguile, in the latest kidnapping. The woman, he said, was reunited with her anxious family and relatives waiting in Davao City.

“It was confirmed that Mayangkang Saguile, a field commander of the 105th Base Command of the MILF, is behind the abduction,” Ponce told the Mindanao Examiner, adding, Saguile is also one of the leaders of the Pentagon Gang.

The military earlier reported that Ma was kidnapped along with her Filipino companion Rochelle Amante, but the woman had escaped and reported the incident to the police.

The MILF is the country’s largest Muslim rebel group fighting for independence in troubled region. (Mindanao Examiner)

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