Celso: Kidnap victims’ kin requests no media hype PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 April 2011 11:59

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday said relatives of Labuan kidnap victim Olivia Barredo have appealed for understanding as they declined to make public details concerning developments on the incident.

Mayor Lobregat  confirmed receiving a video clip of the kidnap victim but offered no additional details in deference to the family’s appeal.

“Yes, a memory card was handed to me. I turned it over to the police, but the family was requesting that it should not be made public,” Lobregat told reporters yesterday morning.

The memory card was supposedly turned over to Zamboanga authorities by Basilan Vice Governor Al Rashid Sakallahul. It was said to contain Barredo’s video clip and supposed conditions including ransom demand for her freedom, however, this has not been verified independently.

“There is a proof of life and a ransom demand. The family said it cannot afford the amount,” he said, adding that negotiations are ongoing between the family and Barredo’s abductors.

Meanwhile, operatives of Task Force Olivia are exhausting all efforts to locate and ultimately rescue the victim.

To recall, Barredo and her husband, Kenneth, had just alighted from their vehicle in front of their house in Labuan last March 3 when three unidentified armed men appeared from behind and seized her. The couple had come from their family-owned pharmacy.

Responding policemen immediately arrested the suspects’ alleged lookouts, Abdulsalih Esmali and Zaldy Daing, who are presently locked up in jail.

The Zamboanga City Police Office immediately organized a special grouped named after the kidnap victim. Task Force Olivia was assigned to solve Barredo’s kidnapping the soonest time possible. — Vic Larato