Thursday, March 03, 2011

Gunmen seize Zamboanga trader

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 3, 2011) – Unidentified armed men abducted a trader late Thursday in the southern Philippine port city of Zamboanga, police said.

Police identified the victim as Olivia Angeles, 36, who was seized in the village of Labuan. Angeles’ family runs a pharmacy in the village.

“We still don’t know who were behind this. At first, it was reported that one motorcycle was involved in the abduction, but that more vehicles arrived,” said Superintendent Hado Edding, police chief of nearby Ayala village. “We are augmenting the Labuan police force. We are pursuing the suspects.”

Ronald Maravilla, village chieftain of Labuan, said they captured two suspected kidnappers and that security forces were pursuing the gunmen. “There is a kidnapping here, one businesswoman Olivia Angeles. And we are pursuing the kidnappers and so far we have arrested two of them,” he said without further elaborating.

The gunmen seized the woman and dragged her to the coast where several motorboats were waiting.

The abduction came barely three days after suspected Muslim rebels freed a local nurse, Mary Cuartocruz, after more than two months in captivity.

Police said the 21-year old woman was released late Monday in the town of Alicia in Zamboanga Sibugay province. Gunmen seized Cuartocruz and fatally shot her grand father who tried to rescue her in Zamboanga City on December 14.

It was not immediately known whether the gang that held Cuartocruz was also behind the latest abduction.

Abu Sayyaf kidnappers are still holding a Chinese-Filipino trader Larry Tan delos Santos in the neighboring province of Basilan since December and his captors originally demanded P20 million, but eventually lowered this to P5 million, for his safe release. (Mindanao Examiner)

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