3 barangay officials get extortion text messages PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 April 2011 16:26

The barangay chairman and two kagawads of Barangay Victoria have received extortion and death threats through text messages.    

Barangay Chairman Feliciano Revillas disclosed that he and Kagawad Jona Valdez and Elmer Gonzales have received text messages demanding from them P30,000 monthly protection money.

The message sender said if Revillas, Valdez and Gonzales can not give the monthly protection money, his group will kill them and will behead them like the late businessman Doroteo Gonzales of Buenavista who was kidnapped two years ago

Gonzales’ head was recovered by the family, but his severed head has remained missing Basilan.
Gonzales’ kidnappers were allegedly led by a barangay official in the east coast who was killed in a shootout at the Sta. Cruz market several weeks after the beheading.

Revillas also revealed that the message sender has demanded from him the cellphone numbers of Valdez and  Gonzales so that they can communiciate directly to the two barangay kagawads.

Revillas has reported the matter to Mayor Celso Lobregat,  to the Zamboanga City Police Office under Sr. Supt. Edwin Deocampo and to Task Force Zamboanga Chief Col. Pascual Buenaventura to ask from them ample security in his barangay.

He also sought help from communication experts to locate the text message sender and to uncover his identity.

The extortion and death threats came as authorities are struggling to stop kidnapping for ransom in Zamboanga City. The most recent victim, Olivia Barredo, owner of a drug store and hardware store in Labuan, was reported to be under captive in Basilan. A proof of life in the form of a cellphone memory card, surfaced last week, revealing that Barredo is in the hands of kidnappers in Basilan.

Teachers in Zamboanga Sibugay have also appealed for protection and security after receiving extortion and kidnapping threats. — Allen Abastillas