Monday, September 05, 2011

Salon owner abducted in Zamboanga province

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 5, 2011) – A Filipino woman who is married to a British engineer, was abducted by gunmen in the southern Philippine province of Zamboanga Sibugay, security officials told the Mindanao Examiner.

Officials said the woman, Luisa Morrison, 34, was snatched Sunday evening by three gunmen in the capital town of Ipil. The woman’s husband is working at an oil rig off Malaysia.

The woman, who owns the RL Salon and Spa in the town’s business district, was seized by three men who posed as customers. She was forced into a small van which was later found abandoned and burned in the coastal village of Bangkerohan.

Officials said Morrison moved to Ipil town from Malaysia last year and put up her own business.

“We have sent troops to track down the abductors and rescue the woman,” said Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, a spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command.

Colonel Santiago Baluyot, commander of military forces in Zamboanga Peninsula, led troops in the operation to rescue the woman.

No group claimed responsibility for the abduction, but previous kidnappings for ransom in the province were largely blamed to Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels (MILF) who are actively operating in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

In 2009, MILF rebels also seized three government teachers - Noemi Mandi, Jocelyn Enriquez and Jocelyn Inion near Ipil town. The three women were on their way to school in the neighboring town of Naga when seized by gunmen and taken to Basilan province, just several nautical miles off Zamboanga City.

They were freed six months later after government negotiators paid ransoms for their freedom.

In 1995, Abu Sayyaf rebels also raided and pillaged the town and killing 54 people. (Mindanao Examiner)

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