Zambo public school teacher freed

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/12 March) – A public school teacher who was kidnapped nearly three months ago had been released by her captors in a remote barangay of this city.

Dr. Pedro Melchor Natividad, City Schools Division Superintendent, said he received reports that Cathy Mae Casipong was released around 6:15 p.m. Tuesday along the national highway in Barangay Sanito, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

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

She was assigned at Sibogtok Primary School in Limaong at the time of the incident.

The victim and her co-teachers were aboard another motorized banca on the way to the city proper via Barangay Vitali when the gunmen accosted them.

The gunmen seized Casipong but left her co-teachers unharmed and sped towards the direction of Zamboanga Sibugay.

Casipong’s parents met her after she was released along the highway. It was not known whether ransom was paid in exchange for her freedom.

“They are now at the headquarters of the 102nd Infantry Brigade in Ipil,” Natividad said over the phone.

He said Casipong will be assigned to another place when she returns to work.

“This is the fruit of coordination of all concerned,” Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said in a text message sent through City Hall Information Officer Sheila Covarrubias.

Salazar said Casipong will need to undergo medical treatment and “we will allow her to rest” to spend time with the family. (MindaNews)