Gas station owner, secretary seized in Libungan

LIBUNGAN, North Cotabato (MindaNews/03 October) – Unidentified armed men snatched the owner of a gasoline station here and her secretary, around 6:20 p.m. Tuesday, a police official said.

Chief Inspector Bernard Tayong, town police chief, identified the victims as Annie Datuwata, owner of Petron gasoline station, 70, and her still unidentified secretary, both residents of Poblacion, Libungan.

Tayong said that at least 10 men mostly lugging high-powered firearms snatched the victims from the gas station and ordered them to board a vehicle.

The victim’s security escort, an Army soldier, was fired at by the kidnappers when he tried to rescue his employer.

The still unidentified escort survived the shooting, reports said.

A few hours after a rescue operation, police found the getaway vehicle already burned in an abandoned lot in Barangay Upper Labas, Libungan.

Reports said that after the abductors torched the vehicle they boarded a pump boat together with their victims and sped towards the marsh area in Maguindanao province.

Tayong said they have yet to determine if the incident was a case of kidnapping for ransom.

Libungan Mayor Manuel dela Cerna convened today the Municipal Peace and Order Council to discuss the latest kidnapping incident. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)