ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/03 July) – Soldiers and policemen acting on a tip yesterday raided an apartment in Marawi City in search of the kidnapped son of Elections Commissioner Elias Yusoph but failed to find the victim, a military official said.
Tipsters said Nuraldin Yusoph, the commissioner’s 22-year-old son who was abducted on the night of June 20 while praying inside a mosque in Barangay Sabala Amanao of Marawi, was hidden in Barangay Daguduban by his abductors.
But Brig. Gen. Rey Ardo, commanding officer of the 103rd Infantry Brigade, said that the “raid, which was the sixth attempt to rescue the victim, yielded negative result.”
The raiders searched Door 2 rented by Naif Dumarpa but found only cigarette butts and ashes.
The three -door building is owned by Mohammad Ibrahim Asis who is occupying Door 1.
The crisis management committee decided to raid the apartment after the city police obtained reports from civilians that the victim was in Daguduban, Ardo said.
He said provincial officials talked to the residents and the owner of the apartment [before conducting the raid].
“They were cooperative in that investigation,” he said.
The official suspected that the victim was being passed from one group [of the abductors] to another to avoid rescue operations.
Nuraldin’s abductors had initially demanded the nullification of the election results in four towns of Lanao del Sur.
Recently, however, they demanded a ransom of P25 million and also sent a faxed message to the elder Yusoph explaining the reason for the abduction, reports from the crisis management committee said.
The committee is composed of Chief Supt. Bienvenido Latag, police director of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); Supt. Adap Panares, police chief of Marawi City; Ardo; and Lanao del Sur Governor Bombit Adiong.
Sec. Jesus G. Dureza has met with the committee as well as the local Council of Elders for the possibility of resolving the case through Maranao traditional mechanisms.
Ardo also asked City Mayor Sultan Fahad Salic to intervene in resolving the crisis.
Ardo wanted the reactivation of the city’s crisis management committee “inasmuch as the crimes are obviously committed within Salic’s area of governance.”
Meanwhile, Maranao leaders condemned the kidnapping.
Norodin Lucman, a Moro writer who claimed to have assisted 40 kidnapping cases in Lanao del Sur, called the recent kidnapping “immoral, unIslamic and sacrilegious. I appeal to our people to stop this madness in Lanao del Sur.”
“It’s so sad that there are bad elements in Maranao community and I hope that they’d learn to stop ruining the image of our race,” said Jalanie Pangalian, a volunteer of Kapamagogopa Inc., a non-government office here.
Edris Tamano, a Muslim professional, said their community cannot move unless the majority observes the Islamic way of life. (Violeta M. Gloria/MindaNews)