Zambo businessman faked own abduction to get family’s attention
MANILA, Philippines — On the evening of July 8, a 67-year-old businessman was seized by five armed men in Sitio Texas, Barangay Vitali, Zamboanga City. Immediately, he was blindfolded and taken to a remote island in Basilan where he was held captive for 48 hours.
A certain Commander Hakim guarded the victim, who was only released after promising to give his abductors P15,000 the next day.
But all of these turned out to be a made-up story.
The Philippine National Police-Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG) on Monday said they received a report about the abduction of the businessman from his son-in-law, who narrated getting a text message from a certain Commander Hakim demanding P1 million for the release of the supposed victim.
The “ransom fee” was later lowered to P800,000, and eventually to P500,000 after a series of negotiations, according to police.
On July 13, joint units from the police and the military launched an operation and successfully “rescued” the businessman at the municipality of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.
During the debriefing, the man insisted he was abducted. Later, however, he admitted faking his abduction saying he only wanted to get the attention of his family especially his children.
The businessman confessed that he also played the role of Commander Hakim and demanded ransom from members of his family while staying at a hotel in Ipil.
He ultimately apologized to authorities for all the trouble he caused.
The PNP-AKG said the businessman appeared to be unaware of the alarm that his supposed kidnapping has caused in the locality. It, however, said that their lawyers are currently studying if they will file a case against the “victim.” /kga
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