Celso: Thank God for Olivia’s release PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 23 April 2011 14:41

“We should thank the Lord Almighty for Olivia’s safe release”.
Thus, said Mayor Celso Lobregat as he together with police authorities yesterday afternoon presented released kidnap victim Olivia Angeles Barredo to the media at the City Hall conference room.

Barredo 37, kidnapped March 3 in Labuan in the west coast, was released unharmed 7am yesterday in barangay Surabay, municipality of R.T. Lim in Zamboanga Sibugay.

“We thank the Lord for protecting Olivia all through her captivity”, the mayor said as he asked the media to respect Olivia’s and her family’s request for privacy.

Olivia, her husband Kenneth and sister begged to be excused after giving initial statements to the press. Olivia said she is very tired and has already given statements to City Police Director Col. Mario Yanga and other investigators. She said she needs to see her children and other members of the family for she missed them so much after 48 days in captivity.

Mayor Lobregat begged for understanding and appealed to the media to respect Olivia’s wishes. He together with PSSupt. Felixberto Candado of PRO-9, City Police Director Col. Edwin de Ocampo, PSSupt. Jose Chiquito Malayo of Directorate for Integrated Police Operations-Western Mindanao and Dr. Dexter Bubuli, PRO-9 physician stayed behind to face the media and to clarify matters concerning the release.

On his instructions, he said, the authorities are pursuing the investigation to identify and track down the kidnappers.

The family admitted to have paid board and lodging money but declined to reveal the amount.  Mayor Lobregat said the government maintains its no ransom policy but has no control over whatever transactions the family has made with the captors.

Dr. Bubuli, who conducted physical examination on the victim said Olivia is in good health except for fatigue.

According to the authorities, the victim was ferried through a pumpboat from her place of captivity to the shores of Surabay where she was abandoned by her captors. The victim contacted her relatives and authorities, who later brought her to Manicahan. Col. De Ocampo met the victim in Manicahan and later brought her to City Hall. — Sheila Covarrubias