Senior Supt. Willie Dangane, city police director, said among those charged in connection with the kidnapping of Wilson Tan and his daughter Jennifer, 10, was a certain Jackson Watamama.
Watamama, records showed, owns the grey Mazda van used by the kidnappers in spiriting away the Tans from the city’s commercial district to the suburbs evening of February 18.
Before leaving the place the kidnappers burned the van and abandoned it at the border of Cotabato City and Kabuntalan in Maguindanao.
Four days later, the Tans were released by their captors, who were reportedly led by a certain Nashrudin.
Nashrudin and a certain Zaynudin, allegedly the leader of the kidnap gang, were also charged.
Dangane, in a radio interview, admitted Tan’s family paid a considerable sum of money for their release. But he could not say the exact amount.
Reports said the ransom money could have ranged between P3 and P10 million.
City Mayor Muslimin Sema said the kidnappers had earlier demanded P40 million as ransom.
“The family refused to coordinate with the authorities for fear something might happen to the victims,” said Dangane.
An Army official in the region said the family requested for a cessation of military offensive against lawless elements along the marsh in Kabuntalan while the victims were still in the hands of their captors.
On Sunday, the Tans were released and were brought to Cotabato City onboard a green Mitsubishi wagon with plate number TKS-334.
On February 18, the Tans were on their way home in Cotabato City onboard their service vehicle when flagged down by masked men who ordered Wilson and his daughter Jennifer to disembark.
The Tans, authorities said, were brought to Kabuntalan. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)