Gunmen seize businesswoman in Zamboanga City

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/19 August) – Gunmen clad in camouflage uniforms seized a businesswoman here Monday evening, while her husband managed to escape from the suspects, police said.

Abducted was Michelle Panes, 36. Her husband, Noel, managed to escape while he was being forced to board on a motorboat locally known as “jungkung.”

Police investigation showed the couple was tending their store when three gunmen clad in camouflage uniforms entered their establishment at around 7:45 p.m. Monday.

The couple owns and manages a grocery store at Purok 5 in Barangay Labuan, 33 kilometers west of this city.

Noel shouted to Michelle to run for safety when the three gunmen grabbed him at gunpoint. The gunmen also took at least P50,000 cash and some grocery items.

Michelle ran for safety but cohorts of the suspects positioned outside the establishment caught her.

The gunmen dragged Noel to the seashore and forced him to board in one of the two waiting motorboats. The victims’ grocery store is located less than a hundred meters away from the seashore.

The gunmen shot Noel but missed after he fell into the water when he tried to overturn the motorboat carrying Michelle.

Zamboanga City police director Senior Supt. Angelito Casimiro said Noel managed to escape when responding policemen arrived and engaged the gunmen in a shoot out.

The gunmen sped to the high seas towards the direction of the nearby province of Zamboanga del Norte.

Barangay Labuan is the second to the last barangay in this city’s west coast towards the boundary with the province of Zamboanga del Norte. (MindaNews)