LINAMON, Lanao del Norte (MindaNews/13 July) – Armed men abducted a four-year old daughter of a copra trader and granddaughter of the vice mayor of Kauswagan town on Saturday afternoon but freed her some 12 hours later.
Police said the child was nabbed by two armed men while paying outside their residence in Purok 2, Poblacion, Linamon town at around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and was freed in the interior village of Lumbac in Balo-I, Lanao del Norte at around 2:10 am on Sunday.
The child’s mother, Venece Maque, and Venece’s father, Kauswagan Vice Mayor Matildo Jubas, are into copra-trading.
Sgt. Benny Maque, the child’s father, told MindaNews he had earlier considered proposing to the kidnappers to free his daughter in exchange for himself.
Maque said that at around 8:30 a.m. on July 12, they saw a suspicious-looking woman “walking back and forth in front of our residence when I was about to leave for an official travel.”
Before leaving for Iligan, Maque said he asked his daughter, who was playing with other children, to enter the house
When he arrived in Iligan City, Magque received a phone call that his daughter was abducted by two armed men and that the woman earlier seen in front of his house had been held for investigation.
Military camps in the two Lanao provinces were immediately alerted to track down the suspects’ possible escape routes.
Police Inspector Domingo S. Murillio , Linamon Police Sation chief identified the woman who was under investigation as Janesah Hadji Raup, 22 , a resident of Pantao Ragat town.
Murillo said the child was brought to a house in Lumbac, Balo-i while negotiations were going on.
Retired Police Officer Col. Amor Masbud led the negotiations and brought the child to Linamon Police Station at around 2:10 in the morning of July 13, where she was reunited with her parents and grandfather, Vice Mayor Jubas.
Murillo denied reports about an alleged P300,000 ransom in exchange for the child’s freedom. He said a case will be filed Monday against the suspects. (Richel V. Umel / MindaNews)