ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/28 May) – Police and military intelligence operatives arrested four suspected kidnappers inside a shopping mall in the city on Monday, a police official said Tuesday.
Senior Supt. Edwin De Ocampo, Zamboanga City police officer-in-charge, identified the suspects as Putot Jakaria alias Ogis Jakaria, Sadat Amilhamja, Allan Nader, and Najal Hail.
De Ocampo said the four suspects were arrested around 4:30 p.m. Monday at a food court in one of the shopping malls downtown.
He said Jakaria was positively identified as a member of a kidnap-for-ransom-group and has two standing warrants of arrest for kidnapping with serious illegal detention with no bail recommended and slight illegal detention with robbery with a P200,000 bail.
The warrants of arrest issued against Jakaria were issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 24 Judge Reuben Maraon of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.
“His (Jakaria) three companions will be subjected for record checks and will be released if found to have none,” De Ocampo said.
Jakaria has denied accusations against him citing he and his companions decided to take snacks at the shopping mall’s food court after a businessman friend failed to show up in their supposed meeting.
He said they were supposed to travel to either Liloy or Sindangan to see the prospects of doing mining there had the businessman, who he refused to identify, shown up.
Col. Andrelino Colina, commander of the military’s Task Force Zamboanga (TFZ), said Jakaria was allegedly involved in the kidnappings of Italian priest Fr. Giancarlo Bossi, Irish priest Fr. Michael Sinnott, and Zamboangueña nurse Maricris Cuartocruz.
Bossi, of the Pontificio Istituto Missioni Estere (PIME) was kidnapped in June 2007 in Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay. He was freed in July of the same year in Karomatan, Lanao del Norte.
Sinnott, who belongs to the Society of Saint Columbus, was kidnapped in October of 2009 in Pagadian City. He was freed in Barangay Sangali, Zamboanga City a month later of the same year.
Cuartocruz was seized in December of 2010 from her residence in Barangay Manicahan, this city and was freed in February of 2011 in Alicia town, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Meanwhile, De Ocampo said has ordered his personnel to strengthen intelligence operations citing the possibility Jakaria has other companions who slip into this city to scout for would-be victims. (MindaNews)