Teacher abducted in Zamboanga City

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MANILA, Philippines—A 48-year-old school teacher was abducted by unidentified armed men from her house in the Labuan district of Zamboanga City on Tuesday evening, barely a week after Mayor Jeffrey Lim of Salug, Zamboanga del Norte, walked out of captivity after paying P1.3 million in ransom, officials said.

Chief Superintendent Napoleon Estilles, Western Mindanao police chief, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a telephone interview that Flordeliza Ongchua was preparing dinner in her house in Purok 5 in Barangay (village) Labuan when the armed men barged in around 7 p.m.

Oning Maravilla, Labuan Barangay chair, said Ongchua was dragged by a group 13 armed men to the beach where they boarded a boat that sped off toward an unknown destination.

Estilles said as they passed a police station, the abductors disarmed the lone policeman on duty.

“There was a duty guard but two of the unidentified suspects pointed a gun at him and took his M-16 rifle,” he said.

Estilles said the police was coordinating with the military-led Task Force Zamboanga in an effort to track down the abductors and the victim.

In January 2009, suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen snatched three teachers as they were returning to mainland Zamboanga from Sacol Island. They were released a few weeks later.

In November 2010, two mentors were also snatched in Lamitan City in Basilan but were soon freed.

On December 8, 2011, alert residents of Barangay Limaong here foiled an attempt to kidnap three teachers serving their village.

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