Witnesses bare events leading to kidnapping of filmmaking sisters
ZAMBOANGA CITY – A day before they were abducted in Patikul, Sulu, the Bansil sisters spent the night in the village of Sinumaan, a known stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf bandit group.
Senior Inspector Conrad Gutierrez, the police chief of Patikul town, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that independent film makers Nadjoua and Linda Bansil, along with 19 other locals, left Jolo on June 20 and went to the village of Danag in Patikul.
“Then, they stayed overnight in (Barangay) Sinumaan,” a known lair of the bandit group, he said.
“In fact, security forces don’t go there without ample security,” Gutierrez said.
On their way back to Jolo on Saturday, the Bansils were abducted in the village of Liang, also in Patikul, Gutierrez said.
Although the sisters were with 19 other companions, Gutierrez said
“During the abduction, only the Bansil sisters were taken.”
He said the Bansil sisters stayed in the house of “Sultan Mauzidin Bantilan” in Jolo.
“They were doing some kind of a documentary report about the Sultanate of Sulu,” he said.
Gutierrez said they have talked to Sultan Bantilan, who had asked the local government, the police and military “to maintain distance first while they are trying to negotiate for safe release of the two ladies.”/Inquirer
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