Kidnappers free Zambo Sur trader

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/19 November) – A businesswoman who was kidnapped more than a month ago was released Friday in this southern port city, a police official disclosed Saturday.

Felicisimo Khu, Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO)-west chief director said the victim was freed around 6:30 p.m. Friday along Varela Street in downtown Zamboanga City.

Freed after one month and 10 days in captivity was Monalisa Almonte y Capa, a businesswoman from Pitogo town in Zamboanga del Sur.

Khu said Almonte’s relatives met by her during her release.

He said no ransom was paid in exchange for the release of Almonte, who was kidnapped last October 8 in Barangay Poblacion, Pitogo.

Earlier report disclosed that the kidnappers had demanded a P20-million ransom for the victim.

Khu said that Alimuddin Danganan Bual, a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’ (MILF) Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG), and the victim’s uncle were the ones who negotiated for the release of Almonte.

Almonte was at the family-owned ice plant when seized by 10 gunmen around 6:30 p.m. of October 8.

The family also owns and manages a gasoline station and a fishing business.

No particular group had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

However, Khu disclosed last week that Almonte was sighted with another kidnap victim in the hinterlands of Al-Barka town, Basilan province.

Almonte and her relatives accompanied by Bual immediately left Zamboanga City after she was released and arrived in Ipil, the capital town of Zamboanga Sibugay, 10:40 p.m. Friday.

Bual handed her to the headquarters of the 102nd Infantry Brigade for debriefing. (MindaNews)