Basilan man, left by wife, holds hostage 26 people, frees them after negotiations – authorities
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – A man from Ungkaya Pukan in Basilan, who was allegedly left by his wife after a misunderstanding, led a group of armed men in briefly abducting 26 people on Sunday morning, authorities confirmed on Tuesday.
Insp. Mujahid Asmawil of the Ungkaya Pukan police said Sem Nasalal had suspected that his wife left him for another man from Sumisip town.
“He was abandoned by his wife and he was mad at anybody who was from Sumisip,” Asmawil said.
On Sunday morning, Nasalal led several armed men and flagged down a Lamitan City-bound public utility jeepney, which had 24 passengers and owned by a Mukil Mahilul.
Mahilul was also aboard the jeepney, which came from Barangay Tumahubong in Sumisip town and which was being driven by Mambik Tongah Uyung.
Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command, said that as the PUJ was passing by Pipil village in Ungkaya Pukan between 8 and 9 a.m., Nasalal and his group flagged it down.
He and the gunmen then held the driver, the owner and the passengers and refused to let go of the vehicle, Tan said.
“The incident started from a lovers’ quarrel,” Tan said.
Tan said a negotiation, which lasted for six hours, led to the eventual release of all victims.
Supt. Oscar Nantes, the Basilan police director, said local officials helped in the negotiations and authorities eventually succeeded in securing the hostages.
“We managed to convince them to release the victims and the vehicle,” Asmawil said.
He said Mahilul had signified he was no longer interested in filing charges against Nasalal but the police nevertheless entered the incident as “carnapping” in the police blotter.
“It was already settled,” Tan said. SFM
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