Crisis committee, task force formed to address Sibugay town mayor abduction

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 9 April) – The provincial government of Zamboanga Sibugay has activated a Crisis Management Committee (CMC) as well as a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) to address the abduction case of a municipal mayor, a top police official disclosed.

Gunmen armed with high-powered firearms seized Mayor Gemma Adana around 9:15 p.m. Monday from her residence in Barangay Taytay Manubo in the municipality of Naga.

Zamboanga Sibugay Gov. Wilter Palma chairs the CMC while Senior Supt. Jose Bayani Gucela, the province’ police director, has been designated to head the SITG “Adana.”

Gucela disclosed they discussed updates of the incident to include intelligence, investigation and operation pertaining to the incident when SITG Adana was activated a day after the abduction.

He said investigation continues in a bid to identify the suspects and to file appropriate criminal case against them.

Gucela said that policemen, in coordination with the military, had been mobilized to track down the whereabouts of the mayor.

Adana, her family and visitors were “having sort of happy hour through video-k singing at her residence” after having dinner when six gunmen clad in camouflage uniforms arrived unnoticed, Gucela said.

The suspects, at gunpoint, forcibly grabbed the mayor and brought her to the back portion of her house, which is located near the sea, where a boat was waiting. “The boat then sped off towards the high seas of Naga municipality,” the police official said.

Municipal councilor Julius Cayon said Adana’s husband even tried to come to the rescue of his wife but the gunmen overpowered him.

Cayon, who was designated as the CMC spokesman, said no group yet has claimed responsibility over the incident as well as no call nor demand was made.