Sunday, January 25, 2009

P6 million ransom for 3 abducted public school teachers

MANILA -- Authorities are still validating the P6 million ransom demand asked by the abductors of the three public school teachers who were seized in Landang Gua and Pangapuyan islands in Zamboanga early Friday, police official said yesterday.

“There is no official release or report from the investigating unit regarding that matter. As of now, we are still verifying it,” Senior Superintendent Jose Gucela, spokesperson of Zamboanga Police Office said in a phone interview.

Media reports earlier quoted families of the abducted teachers saying they were contacted by the abductors to raise P6 million ransom or P2 million for each victims. Gucela said that the Zamboanga police are still confirming the said ransom.

Local government created a crisis management team called Task Force Guro to gather information on the whereabouts of the victims and also to closely coordinate with the families of the victims.

“The task force is created because this is not only a problem of the families but also the entire Zamboanga province. This is really a threat to the economy of the province,” Gucela added.

The task force is now enhancing the hardening measures augmented by the local authorities, regional mobile group and post multipliers. So far, barangay captains also pledge to support the campaign for the immediate release of the victims.

Mayor Celso Lobregat, head of Task Force Guro, meanwhile appealed for the community of Zamboanga to participate in this matter.

“The victims are somewhere; they cannot be invisible so we are appealing to the community to give all the needed information where the victims can be secured safely,” Lobregat said in a television interview, Sunday morning.

At present, authorities cannot identify which group is responsible for the kidnapping.

Rafael Mayonado, Janette Delos Reyes and Frairez Quizon aboard a motorboat were kidnapped while on their way to Zamboanga City from Sacol Island.

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