Freed teacher, Mayor Beng weep during media briefing PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 March 2014 11:16

Cathy Mae Casipong was very emotional and sobbing which made Mayor Beng Climaco weep too when she was presented to newmen during the mayor’s media briefing yesterday morning, a day after she was released by her captors in Sanito, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Casipong, a public school teacher of the Sibuktu Elementary School in Limaong was freed Tuesday night after almost three months in captivity.

Casipong was fetched by her relatives and government operatives and was brought to the camp of the Army’s 102nd  Brigade for her security and debriefing.

Hours later, Casipong was brought to the city and was taken to a hospital for check-up as a standard operating procedure for all freed kidnap victims.

Casipong was presented to the media by Mayor Climaco along with Col. Andrelino Colina of the Task Force Zamboanga, Acting City Police Director Chief Supt. Angelito Casimiro and other officials,

She cried as she thanked God, her family, the government and other authorities for the efforts exerted to gain gain her freedom,

While Casipong was delivering her short statement,  Mayor Climaco also wept.

Casipong was brought out of the City Hall conference room right after she delivered the short statement and newsmen failed to ask any question from her.

Authorities said there was no ransom paid for the teacher’s release.

They said it was her relatives who negotiated and pleaded with the kidnappers for her freedom.

Casipong and two others were aboard a motorized pumpboat sailing from Sibuktuk Island on their way to Vitali proper when gunmen riding on another pumpboat seized her at gunpoint on December 18, 2013.

Before she was released, it was learned that the family of Casipong, sold their properties at P300,000 to give in to some initial demand of the kidnappers.

Authorities said the teacher’s kidnappers belong to a big-time kidnap-for-ransom group.

Casipong’s kidnapping came six months after a staff of the Western Mindanao State University’s Islamic Institute was released by kidnappers in Jolo, Sulu in July last year.

Alrashid Rojas, who was snatched in Campo Islam last June 22,  was dropped by his captors at the Jolo wharf He was picked up by authorities.

Rojas was held in captivity for almost two months by kidnappers with link to Talipao Abu Sayyaf Group of Idang Susukan who is believed to be the same captors of Zamboanga City kidnap victims Flordeliza Ongchua and Eddie Fabella whose kidnap cell still operates in the west coast of Zamboanga City.

Another Zamboangueña is still in the hands of kidnappers. Sabrina Voon, daughter of a well-to-do family of Mercedes, Zamboanga City was grabbed by gunmen at their posh residence on February 21.

A day later on February 22, kidnappers released two Fil-Algerian sisters after several months in captivity in Sulu.

On March 3, kidnappers struck again victimizing three minors and a family driver in Jolo, Sulu. The abduction took place fronting Sharp Tailoring in Barangay Alat, Jolo before 7 a.m.

Seized were Mohammad Zaher Nain y Jajurie, 11, a Grade 5 pupil and son of Dr. Faranahz Jajurie y Intimani, the municipal health officer of Jolo, Alyza Farah Karanain y Jajurie, 8, Grade 2 pupil, Almalyn Abuhail, 17, all students of Notre Dame School and their driver Sadam Amlih, 24, married.

The four were aboard a Toyota Inova driven by Amlih on their way to Notre Dame when seven gunmen clad in Tablig attire blocked their way and took them at gunpoint at Barangay Alat,

The victims were put aboard a Tamaraw vehicle with no plate number that sped away from Jolo town proper. Authorities said the kidnappers brought the victims to Barangay Kasanyangan, Patikul, Sulu.

On February 23, two women were seized in Patikul, Sulu.

The two women were identified as Merilyn Suhali and Fatima Hussein, both natives of Jolo town.

On February 17,  Bonifacio Salinas and his wife Marie Claire, both employees of the Jolo Mainland Water District,  were snatched by gunmen outside their residence in Jolo.

In Zamboanga Sibugay, Stephen Tan, 19, and engineering student, escaped from his captors a day after he was abducted in near Pagadian City. – Dan Toribio Jr.