ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 31 March) – Gunmen tagged as Abu Sayyaf bandits kidnapped early Monday an education official in the nearby province of Basilan, officials disclosed.
Dr. Norhaya Abdurahim, Basilan School Division Superintendent, identified the victim as Benita Latonia, the principal of Manggal Elementary School in the town of Sumisip.
Abdurahim said the victim was seized shortly before 8 a.m. Monday at Sitio Mompol, Barangay Libug in Sumisip.
Abdurahim said that Latonia, together with other teachers, was on board a passenger jeep on the way the Provincial Schools Division Office in Isabela City when the gunmen blocked the vehicle.
She said the suspects forcibly took Latonia and brought her to an unknown place, leaving behind the victim’s companions unharmed.
Capt. Maria Rowena Muyuela, Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) information officer, said the suspects are members of the Abu Sayyaf Group led by Juhaibel Alamsirul alias Abu Kik.
Muyuela said they dispatched forces to support the police in tracking down the whereabouts of the victim in a bid to rescue her.
She said that all possible exit points of the bandits have been blocked.