BY victor reyes
MILITARY and police forces rescued a female teacher and arrested her two female abductors after payment of ransom in Jolo, Sulu yesterday morning, 19 days after her kidnapping.
Maj. Arvin Encinas, spokesman of the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command based in the city, identified the rescued teacher as Rose Singua, 58, who teaches at the Culianan Elementary School in Zamboanga City.
Arrested were Nurina Jura, 22 and Nurjia Asaki, who are now under the custody of the Sulu provincial police office. Encinas said the two are not associated with the Abu Sayyaf, which is known for kidnap-for-ransom activities.
Encinas said Singua was seized by at least five suspects on Sept. 27 in Zamboanga City. She was fetched by a certain MM to attend a wedding in Dipolog City but was instead abducted and brought to Sulu.
“Witnesses said that the abductors of Singua were a young lady, three middle-aged ladies, and a gay,” said Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., commander of the military Joint Task Force Sulu.
“The following day she called her family that she was abducted. Thus, the Provincial Police Office of Sulu and (military’) Joint Task Force Sulu conducted a case build-up operation which resulted to a positive lead,” said Encinas.
Encinas said surveillance and payoff operation was conducted yesterday at the Jolo port where a sister of Singua paid ransom, amounting to P283,000, at around 5:45 a.m. to one of the suspects.
Singua’s sister was later told by the suspect that the victim was at the ANR Hotel in Jolo town. Soldiers and policemen promptly proceeded to the hotel and rescued her.
“A follow-up operation was conducted that resulted to the apprehension of the ransom taker while waiting for a ride bound for Indanan, Sulu,” said Encinas, referring to Jura, a Jolo resident. He said the ransom money was recovered from her.
Meanwhile, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines condemned the attack on one of its members, who was reportedly shot by four masked men while attending a flag ceremony in Valencia City, Bukidnon last Tuesday.
The victim, identified as Zhaydee Cabañelez, a teacher at the Dalet Elementary School in Barangay Lumbayao, suffered gunshot wounds on her chest and on her. She is in critical condition.
The group said Cabañelez has been campaigning for the welfare of the teachers and the people in the community. – With Rod Lagusad