More kidnaps seen in Cotabato City | Inquirer News

More kidnaps seen in Cotabato City

/ 12:11 AM September 22, 2011

Authorities sounded the alarm bells for a new spike in kidnapping cases in Cotabato City even after some law enforcers have drummed up the separate rescue of two victims as a form of success against kidnappings in areas now notorious for lawlessness.

Col. Doroteo Jose Jalandoni, head of the 7th Marines Battalion Landing Team based in Cotabato City, said intelligence reports point to a resurgence of kidnappings in the city.

The usual targets are Chinese-Filipino businessmen, he said.


Jalandoni made the statement following the separate rescue of a businesswoman from Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugayon, and a 9-year-old girl from Pikit, North Cotabato.


Military officials said businesswoman Luisa Galvez was rescued on Monday by Scout Rangers during a clash with the Abu Sayyaf in Sumisip, Basilan.

Galvez, who owns a salon and spa in Ipil, was kidnapped in the town on Sept. 4 and taken to Basilan, known stronghold of the bandits.

Surprise find

According to Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesperson of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, Scout Rangers were on patrol in Sumisip when they clashed with Abu Sayyaf members and found Galvez there.

Another military official, Col. Alexander Macario, said the Scout Rangers weren’t expecting to find Galvez as they assaulted the Abu Sayyaf hideout.


“Our troops didn’t expect to discover a woman in the area,” said Macario.

“The Rangers were scouring the area when they discovered a woman curled in one corner and wounded,” he said. The woman turned out to be Galvez, who suffered minor injuries in the leg.

Ipil Mayor Edwin Alibutdan said the rescue of Galvez came as a relief to town officials.

Teamwork works

In Pikit, North Cotabato, authorities said teamwork among lawmen led to the release of a 7-year-old kidnap victim nine hours after she was seized by gunmen.

Brig. Gen. Reynaldo Ardo, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, said Keshia Jel Navarro, a Grade 1 pupil at the Pikit Elementary School, was abandoned by her captors past 9 p.m. on Monday as a result of coordinated civilian-military operations.

Fear mongers

The kidnappings fueled a fear-mongering episode in Cotabato City which drew immediate reactions from school officials.

Text messages spread about two more pupils being taken by gunmen, which authorities quickly dismissed as false.

The episode, however, showed how jittery people in the city had become.

District Schools Supervisor Amera Engga said she immediately directed teachers to account for schoolchildren at the Lugay-Lugay Elementary School when text messages spread that two pupils were forcibly taken by men in a white van.

Col. Jalandoni, however, said the messages were at most a bad joke.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Supt. Roberto Badian, Cotabato City police chief, said police were not taking the report lightly. Julie S. Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao reporting from Zamboanga City; and Charlie C. Señase and Nash Maulana, Inquirer Mindanao reporting from Cotabato City

TAGS: Kidnappings, kidnaps, Lawlessness, Regions

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.