COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/09 January) – A businessman was abducted at the roadside parking lot of the Estosan Hotel, the city’s biggest, while his wife managed to escape Saturday night.
Businessman Eulogio “Ading” Lim Yu, owner of Yuking Guan Trading and his wife Cathy had just left the casino at the ground floor of the hotel and were about to enter their car when an estimated six armed men on board a Toyota Corola with plate number NXY 153 blocked their way and abducted the victims at around 8:57 p.m.
Footage from the hotel’s closed circuit television showed Cathyrunning towards the hotel’s security guards to rescue her husband but when they were closing in, two-men on board a motorcycle, passed, one of them firing at the guards.
Security guards fired back but the kidnappers had fled with the 58-year old.
“We really wanted to help the victim but what we can do? We were outnumbered,” one of the guards said.
At the guard house of the Office of the Regional Governor ofAutonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) less than a hundred meters from the hotel, PO1 Robert Gabinay, said, “we heard the gunshots, and so four of us blocked the (Governor Gutierrez) road leading to the (ARMM complex), anticipating they will exit towards ND Village but they escaped towards Sinsuat Avenue.
He said they could not just abandon their post as it might be a ruse to attack the ORG.
Combined forces of Police, Marines and Army K-9 tracking dogs rushedto Don Andres Alonzo St., Barangay Rosary Heights 10 where the getaway car was found. The car’s back seat was stained with blood, an indication, police said, that the victim resisted. The car reportedly bumped into an electric post.
Witnesses told police that the victim was transferred by his abductors to a gray vehicle.
Mayor Guiapal Guiani Jr. and the city police immediately activated the Cotabato City Crisis Management Committee.
The kidnapping came even as the Marine contingent the religious and business leaders sought last year due to the resurgence of the kidnap-for-ransom incidents, has been deployed since November. (Ferdinand Cabrera/MindaNews)