ZAMBOANGA CITY—A 45-year-old woman seized in Tampilisan town in Zamboanga del Norte province on Aug. 3 has been recovered alive here after her abductors abandoned her at the city’s bus terminal on Thursday.
News of Viviana Acas’ recovery came as authorities reported the arrest of a suspect in the kidnapping of Mayor Jeffrey Lim of Salug town in neighboring Zamboanga Sibuguey, and other victims from the same province several months ago.
Senior Supt. Jose Chiquito Malayo, Zamboanga City police chief, quoted Acas, a resident of Barangay (village) Situbo in Tampilisan, as saying that she was taken by four armed men while she was riding a bus home from Liloy town, also in Zamboanga del Norte.
“She was forced to board another bus for Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, and then transferred to another vehicle. They were also demanding that the woman produce ransom,” Malayo said.
Acas was able to produce only P7,000 because it was the only money she had in her pocket, the official said.
“She was held for six days,” Malayo said.
Acas and Malayo would not say if ransom was paid.
Malayo also declined to provide more details of the kidnappers. “We cannot release yet the identities and exact place, as our enforcers are trying to capture them,” he said.
In Zamboanga Sibugay, Lt. Col. Yegor Rey Baraquillo Jr., commander of the 44th Infantry Battalion, said the arrested suspect, identified as Sehar Muloc, led “a notorious gang” that operates in Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay.
Baraquillo said Muloc, the prime suspect in Lim’s kidnapping, was arrested by members of the Naval Intelligence and Security Group, the 102nd Infantry Brigade and the Zamboanga Sibugay police office near Pasalubong Center in Poblacion, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, past noon on Thursday.
Also known as “Red Eye,” Muloc will be charged with kidnapping and illegal detention, Baraquillo said.
The other victims of Muloc were Reynaldo Drapeza of Zamboanga del Sur and a 9-year-old boy from Zamboanga Sibugay.
Lim said he was ready to testify against the suspect.