Kidnapped MSU professor, student freed in Lanao Sur

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/24 February) – A  professor and a student who were abducted by unidentified armed men Saturday inside  the Mindanao State University campus in Marawi City had been released, Pastor Da Romas of the Seventh Day Adventist Church told MindaNews by phone Thursday evening.

Romas said Cris Neil Gulfan and Aubrey Virtudez were released in Panggao, Piagapo,  Lanao del Sur and were brought to the 103rd Infantry Brigade headquarters in  Kampo Ranao, Marawi City.

Romas did not comment when asked if any ransom was paid to the abductors.

Gulfan is a faculty member of Al-Khawirizmi International College (AKIC) while Virtudez is a BS Information Technology student at Mindanao State University (MSU) main campus.

Virtudez is a resident of Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental while Gulfan hails from Pagadian City.

Their parents were expected to arrive in Kampo Ranao.

The victims were abducted at 6:45 p.m. while on their way to where Virtudez was staying along MSU’s 7th Street, and whisked away onboard a maroon Hi-Lander SUV with the number 858 (control letters unknown) that reportedly sped towards Piagapo.

Both belong to the SDA Church whose members usually do Saturday prayers lasting until 6:00 in the evening.

Col. Daniel A. Lucero, commanding officer of 103rd Infantry Brigade, said no ransom was paid and that the kidnappers were pressured into releasing the victims due to police and military presence in Piagapo.

He admitted however that various personalities negotiated for the victims’ release.

On December 10 last year, two students who are also SDA members were abducted inside the MSU Marawi campus. They were released four days later after negotiations.

It was alleged that a politician in Lanao del Sur paid at least P250,000 to the abductors in exchange for their freedom. (MindaNews)