Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Kidnapped Filipino boy freed in Maguindanao province

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 8, 2009) – Kidnappers released a Filipino boy after more than a week in captivity in the southern Philippines.

John Kyle Chongson, 4, was seized in Cotabato City on June 26 and free late Tuesday in Maguindanao’s Datu Odin Sinsuat town. Police tagged the Pentagon Gang as behind the kidnapping.

Police forces recovered the boy alone at a remote village after receiving information that he was freed. The boy is the son of a rice dealer.

It was unknown if ransom was paid but reports said the kidnappers originally demanded P15 million for the boy’s liberty. Police said no ransom was paid.

The Moro Islamic Liberation said it is holding one of Chiongson’s captors - Mohaimin Abo - who was said to be the mastermind of the kidnapping.

Eid Kabalu, a senior MILF leader, said Abo is being investigated by a rebel court for his involvement in the kidnapping. “He is currently under detention and being investigated for his role in the kidnapping of the boy,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.

The military linked by the MILF to the boy’s kidnapping, but Kabalu denied his group was involved. “That’s why Abo was arrested by the MILF after we learned about his involvement,” Kabalu said.

Kabalu also admitted that Abo has a relative who are members of the MILF, the country’s largest Muslim rebel group fighting for self-determination in Mindanao.

Police also blamed the Pentagon Gang for two previous kidnappings in Cotabato City this year. (Mindanao Examiner)

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