Kidnapped teachers released in Lanao Sur

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/26 March) – Two teachers seized a week ago in Iligan City have been released by their kidnappers owing to pressure exerted by authorities, a military official announced Monday.

103rd Infantry Brigade commander Col. Daniel Lucero said the victims were freed around 7:30 p.m. Sunday in Barangay Malna, Kapai, Lanao del Sur.

Freed were Seferino Sanchez, 24 and Rene Sumagang, 27, both teachers of Limonsudan Bayog Falls Elementary School, who were seized around 2:30 in the afternoon of March 19.

Sanchez and Sumagang were riding tandem on a motorcycle along with three other teachers aboard two separate motorcycles from the city proper of Iligan when they were blocked and seized by around 15 gunmen in Barangay Rogongon, in the same city.

The three other teachers, whose identities were not made known, managed to escape.

Lucero said he ordered the conduct of continuous pursuit operation against the kidnappers who reportedly brought the two teachers to Tagoloan II town and later transferred to Kapai municipality in Lanao del Sur.

The Army official said the pursuit operation was complemented with negotiations made by former Tagoloang II mayor Cosain Capal for the safe release of the victims.

Lucero said the kidnappers decided to release the victims due to the pressure exerted by the military and police forces through the continuous manhunt operations.

The victims were picked up by the negotiating group in Barangay Malna, Kapai town and were taken to the Lanao del Sur provincial capitol, he said.

The victims were subsequently subjected to a medical check-up, he said.

Military and police forces were deployed to track down the kidnappers based on information they gathered from the freed teachers, he added. (MindaNews)