KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/16 December) — Kidnappers snatched early morning today a businessman’s daughter in Pigkawayan town in North Cotabato, police officials said.
Chief Insp. Jomar Alexis Yap, regional Philippine National Police spokesperson, said the three unidentified kidnappers also shot dead 8-year-old victim’s father, Allan Tamayo, when he resisted them.
The kidnappers fled with Mr. Tamayo’s daughter after the 7 a.m. incident which occurred in Barangay Poblacion 1 in Pigkawayan, Yap said.
But reports said that elements of the 40th Infantry Battalion recovered the girl after the kidnappers were forced to escape on foot upon reaching Manuangan, Pigkawayan when they lost control of their getaway vehicle.
The gray getaway vehicle bore license plate MAD 808, Yap said.
Local residents reportedly ganged up on the driver-abductor who was left behind by his companions. He was then brought to a hospital under tight guard.
Supt. Alexander Tagum, North Cotabato Police Regional Mobile Group chief, said that pursuit operations with the help of the military were still ongoing when reached shortly past 11 a.m.
Tagum, however, declined to give more details in order not to jeopardize the operation against the kidnappers. He did not confirm or deny media reports that the child was rescued.
It could not be immediately established what business the Tamayo family is into.
Pigkawayan Mayor Roberto Blase also confirmed the kidnapping. He was presiding the meeting of the Municipal Peace and Order Council when reached as of noontime for more details.
The abduction, the latest of a number of kidnappings that have victimized those in the business community and their family members in Southwestern Mindanao, came after local chief executives agreed to step up their security cooperation in the wake of the resurgence of kidnapping and bomb attacks in the region.
Secretary Luwalhati R. Antonino, chair of the Mindanao Development Authority, earlier said the region’s local chief executives specifically vowed during a meeting in Davao City last month to coordinate their peace and order strategies and pool their resources in a bid to further strengthen the government’s security operations in the area.
“They acknowledged the need to unify their security efforts to effectively resolve the lingering security problems in the area, especially the recent bombings and kidnapping activities,” Antonino said in a radio interview.
Antonino said the meeting, which she joined along with Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, was attended by governors Arthur Y. Pingoy Jr. of South Cotabato, Miguel Rene A. Dominguez of Sarangani, Suharto T. Mangudadatu of Sultan Kudarat, Emmylou J. Talino-Mendoza of North Cotabato and General Santos City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio.
Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Cotabato, Tacurong, Koronadal and Kidapawan.
During the meeting, Antonino said the chief executives raised various security-related issues to Robredo that needed immediate and more focused attention from the PNP and other law enforcement agencies.
Among the recent incidents discussed in the meeting were the bomb attacks in North Cotabato and Cotabato City and the kidnappings in South Cotabato and Cotabato City.
Last month, a businesswoman who owns a grocery store and a fleet of passenger vans from Sto. Niño town in South Cotabato was seized by a group of armed men in a daring raid that resulted to the killing of a store helper and the wounding of the victim’s husband.
Police and military units in Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato provinces have launched joint search and rescue operations for victim Grace Eleuterio, whom the kidnappers initially offered to release in exchange for a P10-million ransom. She was eventually freed.
Since August, two other members of the Chinese-Filipino business community were kidnapped separately in Cotabato City but were later released after reportedly paying ransom. (Bong S. Sarmiento, with reports from Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)