Police doubt Laguna teen’s ‘kidnap, forced to sell sampaguita’ tale
SAN PEDRO CITY—Police on Friday said they found no evidence that 17-year-old Marla Yzzabelle Sta. Clara, who earlier shared on Facebook how she supposedly escaped her kidnappers who forced her to sell sampaguita on EDSA, was abducted at all.
In fact, Sta. Clara, who claimed that she was taken near her school, the Biñan National High School in Biñan City, Laguna on January 8, was not enrolled this school year, according to city police chief Supt. Reydante Ariza.
A Facebook post early this week said Sta. Clara was in the school premises when three armed men on a van forced her into the vehicle.
She was allegedly taken somewhere North along with other abducted teens.
When they reached Quezon City, the kidnappers allegedly let the teens out to sell sampaguita garlands on EDSA. That was how Sta. Clara supposedly found her chance to escape by mixing into the crowd. She went to a mall in Quezon City where she later managed to call an aunt for help.
Sta. Clara and her mother on Thursday reported the incident to the police. The police reviewed footages captured by a security camera in the school but found no traces of an abduction taking place between 9 and 10 a.m., the time Sta. Clara provided the authorities.
“The (supposed kidnappers’) van was not even there,” Ariza said in a phone interview.
He said they talked to the school and found out that Sta. Clara dropped out this school year.
“All the while, the mother thought she was going to school and would regularly give her allowances,” Ariza added.
Early this week, a female college student from Cebu also claimed she was abducted. It later turned out she made up the story to avoid paying the school’s money which she lost. Maricar Cinco, @maricarcincoINQ, Inquirer Southern Luzon
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