Abu holding Zambo Sibugay town mayor; 7 would-be victims of human trafficking rescued

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/01 May) – Suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu are now holding Mayor Gemma Adana of Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay, a military official said Friday.

Rear Admiral Reynaldo Yoma, Task Force Zambasulta commander, said they received reports that Adana was taken to Sulu and her captors were moving her from one place to another.

He said troops were trying to track down their location.

Senior Supt. Jose Bayani Gucela, Zamboanga Sibugay police director, reported Friday that Adana “is somewhere in Indanan, Sulu although it is still subject for validation/confirmation, thus, continued Intel-driven operations and profiling of the suspected areas is still on-going.”

Gunmen clad in camouflage uniforms seized Adana in the evening of April 6 in Barangay Taytay Manubo, Naga.

Adana was with her family, friends and visitors at her residence when the gunmen barged in and seized her.

Gucela said one of Adana’s abductors has been identified as Abral Abdusallam.

Abdusallam is suspected to be a member of a kidnap-for-ransom-group based in Zamboanga Sibugay.

“While there may be some other parties involved, but definitely the ones holding (her) now are the (members of the) ASG,” Yoma said.

“That is the modus operandi now. Somebody will abduct the subject (victim) and transport them to either Basilan or Sulu and then the ASG will take care from there,” he added.

He said they did not know if the kidnappers had demanded ransom in exchange for the release of Adana.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday the Sea-Based Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force arrested a suspected illegal recruiter and rescued seven would-be victims of human trafficking in this city.

Senior Supt. Angelito Casimiro, Zamboanga City police director, said the suspect identified as a certain Cabarubias, 32, of Davao City was arrested around 5 p.m. Wednesday at the local wharf.

Casimiro said the task force also rescued seven would-be victims of illegal recruitment who are all women.

He said the suspect recruited the victims and facilitated their travel to Dubai via Malaysia. The recruiter promised them employment “in the country of their destination.”

He said the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group was readying charges against the suspect.

He said the victims were turned over to the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

He said the arrest and rescue were results of concerted efforts against human trafficking after the local port was identified as a transshipment point of illegal recruiters. (MindaNews)