Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Kidnappers free grandson of ex-southern RP town mayor

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / January 5, 2010) – Kidnappers have freed late Tuesday a 19-year old grandson of a former southern Philippine town mayor after more than three months in captivity in Basilan province, officials said.

Officials said Donald Capili, who was kidnapped August 27 in Zamboanga del Norte’s Liloy town, was released near the village of Baiwas in Sumisip town.

“Donald Capili was released by kidnappers in the village of Baiwas in Sumisip town,” said Lieutenant Colonel Gamal Hayudini, regional chief of the military’s Civil Relations Group in Western Mindanao.

He said Capili was fetched by an emissary of Basilan vice governor Al-Rasheed Sakalahul and brought to the politician’s farmhouse where he would be handed over to his family. “Donald is in good physical condition,” he said.

Hayudini did not give details of the release or who was behind the kidnapping, but authorities previously tagged the Abu Sayyaf as behind it.

Other reports said an unspecified amount of ransom was paid to the kidnappers who originally demanded five million pesos in exchange for Capili’s safe release. Capili is a grandson of former Liloy town mayor Belchu Uy.

The Abu Sayyaf is still holding two Chinese citizens Zi Shun Lu, alias Oscar Lu, 51; and Bo Shung Tan, who goes by the name Michael Tan, 27, both from Guangzhou province.

A third hostage, Filipino plywood factory worker, Mark Singson, was beheaded last month in Basilan after his family and employer, Hitech Wood Craft Corporation in Maluso town, failed to pay P1.5 million ransom. Some 20 gunmen disguised as soldiers raided the factory on November 10 and seized the trio.

Last month, two soldiers were killed in clash with Moro rebels in the village of Muhammad Ajul while searching for the hostages.

The Abu Sayyaf and the larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front are both actively operating in Basilan and had been previously linked by the police and military to many kidnappings-for-ransom in the province. The MILF said the fighting erupted after troops strayed into a rebel territory. (Mindanao Examiner)

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