Kidnap suspect killed, another hurt in boy’s rescue in Davao Sur

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Southern Mindanao police authorities on Thursday killed a kidnap suspect and wounded another during an operation in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur which aimed at recovering a six-year old boy taken from here earlier this week.

The boy was later recovered unharmed from the custody of a couple, who said the boy was earlier entrusted to them by two men.

Superintendent Antonio Rivera, spokesperson of the Davao City Police Office, said based on the report furnished them, Southern Mindanao police stormed the kidnappers’ hideout in Barangay Sibulan.

A suspect, identified as Jack Ferdinand Pala, 26, was killed when he reportedly resisted the approaching operatives, Rivera said. Pala was a tricycle driver from Crossing Bayabas, in Toril district here.

Pala’s companion, who was identified as Joel Reyes Moda, 18, of Doña Pilar in Sasa, was arrested, said Senior Superintendent Vladimir Custer Kahulugan, Davao del Sur police director.

Kahulugan said police investigation showed that Pala and Moda picked-up the boy, whose parents they personally knew, from school around 2:30 p.m. Monday.

They called up the boy’s father on the same day and asked P2 million in ransom money.

The parents sought help from the police and agreed on a plan to entrap the suspects, he said.

The next day, the suspects called up the parents again and assured them the boy was alive but threatened to harm him should the parents fail to give money, Kahulugan said.

The father of the boy managed to lower the amount to P180,000 and had convinced the kidnappers to release the boy, he said.

Kahulugan said on Thursday, the kidnappers agreed to meet with the parents in Barangay Sibulan in Sta. Cruz.

However, when the gunmen noticed that there were policemen around, they fled.

Kahulugan said the police conducted pursuit operation and killed Pala in the process.

The slain suspect tried to lob a grenade against the pursuing policemen but he was killed, Senior Inspector Alfredo Santillana, Sta. Cruz police chief said.

The boy was later recovered from a couple, who said he was entrusted to them by two men looking for fuel the night before.

Rivera said the two suspects were among the group of four men, who snatched the victim from the Matina Elementary School here on Monday.

Rivera said a manhunt against the remaining suspects was being conducted while a charge for kidnapping was being prepared against Moda.

He also said that based on the police’s investigation, it was the first time the suspects engaged into a kidnap for ransom activity.

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