Gunmen seize school official; 10 kidnap suspects fall

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/28 January) – A public school official was abducted at gunpoint late Monday by eight suspected kidnappers in Kumalarang, Zamboanga del Sur, the police reported Tuesday.

Chief Insp. Ariel Huesca, Police Regional Office-9 information officer, identified the victim as Rudy Luna of Barangay Diplo, Kumalarang.

But Luna’s wife Tessie managed to escape, Huesca said.

Both husband and wife are supervisors of Diplo Central Elementary School.

The incident took place a day after combined police and military forces arrested in separate operations 10 suspects in the kidnap-slay of a businessman’s son in the same province.

Huesca said that initial investigation showed the gunmen barged into the couple’s residence in Diplo and seized them around 8 p.m. Monday.

He said the kidnappers brought them to the shore in Sitio Dacun, Barangay Picanan of the same town aboard the victims’ sports utility vehicle.

The police official said that Tessie managed to escape while they were being dragged to a waiting motorized banca that sped towards the high seas bringing her husband.

Police have recovered Luna’s vehicle and launched an operation to rescue the victim.

On Sunday, combined police and military operations arrested in separate operations 10 suspects in the kidnap-slay of Edmund Corpuz, a son of a businessman in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.

Corpuz, 31, was kidnapped last November 27 while he was fetching his nephew from a school in Pagadian City, which is adjacent to Labangan town.

The Corpuz family owns vast tracks of rice field and operates a rice mill in Labangan.

Senior Supt. Sofronio Ecaldre, Zamboanga del Sur police director reported that five of the 10 suspects were arrested in Labangan and the other five in a follow-up operation in Balabagan, Lanao del Sur.

Arrested in Purok Manga 2, Barangay New Labangan, Labangan were Ray Mansa and his wife Lucita, Ronald Luzon, Jovencio Luzon, and Hamedi Balatocal.

Ecaldre said the suspects were arrested following the arrest of Balatocal in an entrapment after he was tasked by the kidnappers to pick up the P150,000 cash they have demanded from the victim’s family.

Arrested in a follow up operation in Barangay Molimok, Balabagan were Danny Luzon, Dante Mangubat, Sergio Cabana, Efren Sisiban Jr., and, Efren Sisiban, Sr.

Ecaldre said the follow-up operation was launched after Balatocal revealed that he was told to deliver the P150,000 to their companions in Balabagan.

He said the arresting team also recovered Corpuz’s motorcycle and a motorized banca the kidnappers used in bringing the victim to Lanao del Sur.

He said investigation further showed the kidnappers had collected close to P500,000 in several installments from the victim’s family.

Meanwhile, Ecaldre said that the suspects admitted they killed the victim last January 2 and threw his body into the Yllana Bay. (MindaNews)