Thursday, December 10, 2009

Basilan State College Vice President Kidnapped!

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / December 10, 2009) – Gunmen barged in the house of a Filipino engineer and a college official and seized him late Thursday in Basilan province in the southern Philippines, officials said.

Officials said four armed men forcibly took Orlando Fajardo, who is also the vice president of the Basilan State College, in Isabela City. The attack occurred just a day after kidnappers beheaded one of people they also seized last month in Basilan’s Maluso town.

“This is really bad. Four gunmen took Fajardo from his home in Isabela City. We have alerted security forces about this latest kidnapping,” Al Rasheed Sakalahul, the provincial deputy governor, told the Mindanao Examiner.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but previous kidnappings had been blamed to the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group and Moro rebels.

Kidnappers have beheaded a Filipino plywood factory worker Mark Singson after his employer failed to pay some P1.5 million initially demanded by his captors.

Singson was kidnapped November 10 along with two Chinese men - Michael Tan, 27, and Oscar Lu, 51 – whose fate is still unknown.

The two foreigners were previously reported to be Filipino citizens, but police said they are Chinese nationals and probably illegal workers hired by George Tan, owner of the Hitech Wood Craft Corporation in Maluso town.

“The kidnappers beheaded the hostage after the factory owner failed to pay some P1.5 million they initially demanded,” Sakalahul said, adding, the government has a strict no-ransom policy.

Police said about 20 gunmen disguised as soldiers raided the factory on November 10 and seized the trio. Its owner said the kidnappers struck despite the presence of a military camp nearby.

The Abu Sayyaf and the larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front are both actively operating in Basilan and had been previously linked to many kidnappings for ransom in the province.

Jum Akbar, the governor of the Basilan, cannot be contacted and she had been most of her time in Manila and rarely seen in the province. And same with Cherylyn Akbar, the mayor of Isabela City and both women were wives of assassinated Basilan congressman Wahab Akbar.

Last month, a faction of the Abu Sayyaf also beheaded a school principal Gabriel Canizares in nearby Sulu province after his family failed to raise two million pesos ransom. His head was found at a petrol station in the capital town of Jolo.

In September, Abu Sayyaf militants in Basilan freed three kidnapped government teachers after private negotiators paid millions of pesos in ransom. The teachers Noemi Mandi, Jocelyn Enriquez and Jocelyn Inion were released in separate places in the towns of Tipo-Tipo and Ungkaya Pukan.

The trio was kidnapped in March 13 in Zamboanga Sibugay’s Naga town and brought to Basilan where they had been held captive. The kidnappers had threatened to behead the teachers if ransom was not paid.

Early this year, Abu Sayyaf militants also kidnapped three state teachers - Janette de los Reyes, Freires Quizon and Rafael Mayonado in Zamboanga City and held them in Basilan and freed four months later after private negotiators paid millions of pesos in ransom. (Mindanao Examiner)

1 comment:

shadow said...

mr. fajardo is the father of my fiance. i am expected to give birth this week and we are very much looking forward to this. but today became a very dark day for all of us. right now, we need all the prayers we can get. my daughter would want to see her lolo when she comes into the world. please Lord, please keep him safe.