PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—Police on Friday pursued a group of men who kidnapped and held for over eight hours on Thursday the 16-year-old daughter of a radio station manager here.
City police chief Supt. Virgilio Parocha told reporters the group was forced to release their captive as they fled to elude a police dragnet that had formed around the general area where she was held.
The girl, a college student at the Palawan State University and daughter of dyEZ station manager Louie Larroza, told police she was forcibly taken by a group of five men outside her school’s premises as she emerged from class at past 9 a.m. Thursday.
She said she was blindfolded inside a black van which drove her to another location within the city proper.
Parocha said the police was able to track down the victim’s general location after she was able to hide her cell phone from her abductors and communicated with her parents using text messaging.
“We were able to triangulate the general location of the perpetrators and their captive after the captive was able to hide her cell phone inside her underpants and use it,” he said.
The kidnappers were aware checkpoints had been set up around the general vicinity of Barangay Bancao where the signal from her Globe cell phone was traced, said Parocha.
The police set up numerous checkpoints around the city after initial reports of the abduction broke out, including a water blockade set up by the Special Boat Unit trained recently by United States forces in terrorist interdiction or in putting constraints against enemy forces.
“We had the whole place surrounded and they (kidnappers) must have felt the pressure that forced them to release their victim in order to make their escape,” Parocha said.
He declined to comment on their leads and the possible identities of the perpetrators, stating that a pursuit operation was still underway.
Larroza told local newsmen the abduction of his daughter “could be a warning for me to stop my broadcasts.”
Larroza is the station manager of a local radio network that has been critical of government corruption and environmental abuses.
“This (kidnapping) won’t detract me from pursuing my work. It has even emboldened me to continue criticizing corruption in the government,” Larroza said. Redempto D. Anda, Inquirer Southern Luzon