Kidnapped Zamboanga Sur school official freed after 7 months

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 22 Aug) – A public school official kidnapped almost seven months ago in Zamboanga del Sur was finally released by his captors late Tuesday after payment of a P500,000 ransom, belated reports said.

Senior Supt. Sofronio Ecaldre, Zamboanga del Sur police director, said the victim, Rudy Luna, was released around 11:51 p.m. at the fish port of Tukuran town in Zamboanga del Sur.

He said, however, that the release of Luna was not immediately announced since a follow-up investigation has been conducted.

Ecaldre said that Luna revealed during the debriefing conducted by the Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) that he was made to board a motorized banca accompanied by two gunmen and left the place of his captivity around 7 p.m. Tuesday.

They were tailed by two other gunmen aboard another motorized banca as they sailed the high seas until they reached the fish port of Tukuran town where Luna’s captors abandoned him.

Being familiar with the place, Ecaldre said Luna walked until he reached the residence of his policeman-brother, Jun Luna, around 12:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Ecaldre said Luna was brought by policemen to the hospital for medical treatment. Since then, Luna remained confined at the hospital.

“According to the investigation, the family gave their last pay-off in the amount of P500,000 before the victim was released. We still have to conduct further investigation to determine how much ransom the family of the victim paid to the kidnappers,” he disclosed.

Luna and his wife Tessie were kidnapped by gunmen who barged into their residence in Barangay Diplo, Kumalarang town in Zamboanga del Sur in the evening of January 27.

The gunmen brought the couple to the shore at Sitio Dacun in nearby Barangay Picanan aboard a family-owned sports utility vehicle. But Tessie managed to escape while they were being forced to board a motorized banca, so the gunmen took only Rudy as they sped to the high seas.

Both of them are school supervisors in the municipality of Kumalarang.