Abducted village chief freed in Zambo Norte

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/14 March) – A barangay official who was kidnapped three months ago was released in Zamboanga del Norte province, a police official disclosed Friday.

Chief Insp. Ariel Huesca, Police Regional Office-9 information officer, said that Cecilia de las Alas was freed at around 4 a.m. Thursday in Barangay Bongalao, Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte.

De las Alas, the barangay captain of Paniran, Sibuco, was abducted by three gunmen who barged into her residence evening of last December 12.

The gunmen dragged Alas-as to the shoreline of Barangay Paniran and forced her to board on a waiting motorized banca that sped to the high seas.

Huesca said that De las Alas, after her release, was immediately brought to her residence in Barangay Paniran, Sibuco and reunited with her family.

Huesca said they later proceeded to Barangay San Roque in this city where her other relatives are staying.

De las Alas’ release came two days after a public school teacher, who was kidnapped also last December, was freed in Zamboanga Sibugay.

Freed on Tuesday was Cathy Mae Casipong, a teacher at the Sibogtok Primary School in Barangay Limaong, this city.

Casipong, 23, was seized by 10 gunmen aboard two motorized bancas on December 18, 2013 near Sitio Paraitan, Barangay Limaong.

Casipong and her co-teachers were aboard a motorized banca on the way to the city proper via Barangay Vitali when the gunmen accosted them. (MindaNews)