Kidnapped Mercedes lass freed at Baliwasan shore PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 26 June 2014 13:03

Abu Sayyaf kidnappers freed yesterday a 28-year old pretty lass of Mercedes who was abducted from their posh residence early this year.

Sabrina Ikbala Voon was released by her captors around 12 noon along Baliwasan seashore where she took a tricycle home, but stopped when she saw the family van with their family helpers buying food commodities at Aderes Flea Market in Guiwan. She alighted and joined them and went home straight.

Newmen went to Voon’s residence to get more details but the family refused to face them saying that the Sabrina was resting.

Former Basilan Vice Governor Alrasheed Sakkalahul, who helped in securing the safe release of Sabrina Voon, said she freed along the Baliwasan shore.

Sakkalahul, who just returned June 22 from a trip with Vice President Jejomar Binay in Kuala Lumpur, said the Sabrina’s family sought his assistance in securing her freedom. “I hurried back to the Philippines to find a way on how to get in touch with the kidnappers after Voon’s family sought my help in securing the safe release of Sabrina.”

“Through a third party, we were able to make contact with the kidnappers and secured the freedom of Sabrina Voon. We negotiated with the kidnappers and the authorities were well aware the negotiations and we did strictly on humanitarian grounds,” he told Mindanao Examiner.

Sakkalahul said he was not aware if ransom was paid to the kidnappers. It was not immediately known whether the woman was held captive in Basilan or Zamboanga City.

The kidnappers originally demanded P5 million ransom for the release of Sabrina, who was seized on February 19 by six gunmen disguised as policemen from their house at Sitio Pohok, Mercedes.She was dragged to a waiting van.

Police also have filed criminal charges against the 28-year old Abdul Hassan Yusop, who was among those who kidnapped Voon, a native of Sulu.

Police said the kidnapper has been identified through his photo on a fake driver’s license he used to hire the van in Zamboanga.

OIC City Police Director Sr. Supt.  Joselito Casimiro said Yusop, who used the name Rey Santos in his identification card, is a native of Tuburan, Basilan.

There was no immediate statement from Voon’s family about her release.

The white Hi-Ace van with plate number GPH 851 that took Sabrina sped away towards Sitio Gapuh, Talabaan.It was later recovered at a secluded area in the interior of Sitio Gapuh.

Sabrina and her mother Isabel Ikbala Voon and other members of the family were inside their house when armed men arrived shortly before 9 p.m.

It was learned that one of the gunmen shot Isabel but missed. She was then pistol whipped in the head.

The Hi-Ace van crashed on the roadside  after the driver saw a police car with policemen aboard who were deployed in the interior of Gapuh.

Policemen chased the van but when they cornered the vehicle, the abductors and their hostage victim were no longer inside. Ehen the police found the get-away van its engine was still running.

During ocular inspection, police and military personnel found an identification document showing that it is owned by Ignacio Curambao.

It was gathered that the six men rented the vehicle from Curambao for P3,000 at the airport last Wednesday. Curambao entrusted the vehicle to them, but did not go with them.

Curambao later told investigators that the white Hi-Ace van was rented by one Rey Santos Cuevas around 9 a,m, last Wednesday.

Curambao said Cuevas was asking for Toyota Revo, but it was not available, so he settled for the Hi-Ace van.

He said it was the second time that Cuevas had rented a vehicle from his rent car service.

The Voon family is a prominent family in Barangay Mercedes. They own a  fishpond in Gapuh near where the get-away  van was abandoned by the kidnappers.

Sabrina is presently with her family. — With report from Mindanao Examiner