ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 22, 2011) – Kidnappers have freed a Muslim trader after his family paid ransoms for his safe release in Marawi City in the southern Philippines, officials said on Wednesday.
Officials said Camal Tocal, 37, of Lumba-Bayabao town in Lanao del Sur, was released at the compound of the Mindanao State University in Marawi City late Monday.
“Tocal, who was kidnapped June 11 in Marawi City, immediately flew to Manila after his release,” Colonel Daniel Lucero, commander of the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade, told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.
He said troops were tracking down the kidnappers. “There is an operation to track down the kidnappers,” he said without elaborating further.
Tocal was nearly rescued after soldiers searching for him came near their hideout, but his captors threatened to kill him if he would try to seek help from security forces.
It was unknown how the kidnappers were able to slip through the Mindanao State University compound and released Tocal without being detected by security guards, but there had been numerous kidnappings in the past inside the university ground.
Kidnappings and other crimes are rampant in Marawi, branded as Islamic City in the southern Philippines.(Mindanao Examiner)