Kidnappers free merchant couple in Jolo

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/18 July) – A merchant couple abducted on July 13 by five gunmen in Jolo, Sulu was freed on Saturday night, a military official announced today.

Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said the victims, Jose Batronel and his wife, Jocelyn, were freed separately in a secluded place in Jolo.

Cabangbang said Batronel was freed around 7:45 p.m. Saturday while his wife was released an hour earlier.

Cabangbang said Jose, who was dehydrated, was immediately admitted at the Sulu Integrated Provincial Hospital.

The Batronel couple hails from Batangas City and is into lending and selling of foam and appliances.

It was not known if the victims had paid ransom in exchange for their freedom, Cabangbang said.

The couple boarded a Navy boat from Jolo and arrived here around 8a.m. Monday.

The victims were seized by five “young” gunmen at their boarding house around 8:30 p.m. last Wednesday in Barangay Busbus, Jolo. (MindaNews)