Kidnappers strike 3rd time in Labuan: Bizwoman seized PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 14:23

Kidnappers struck anew in Labuan’s coastal part in the west coast snatching a store owner Monday night.

The kidnapping happened amid the heightened alert in Zamboanga City brought about by reported threats from unspecified terror groups

Michelle Panes, 36, and her husband Noel Panes, 34, were inside their grocery store in Labuan when eight men wearing military uniforms and armed with high powered firearms arrived at past 7 p.m.. Three of them entered the store and introduced themselves as lawmen. They pretended to inform the people inside that they were on a drug bust operation. The gunmen then seized Noel who was at that time cleaning their car.

Noel told the police that he yelled at his wife, ordering her to run away while he was trying to fight back the armed strangers.

He said he was dragged to a motorboat called jungkung anchored along the shore some 50 meters away from Panes’ house-cum-store.

Noel said when he was taken to the boat, he was surprised to see his wife already aboard and being held by other gunmen.

Noel continued to defy the kidnappers, trying to escape from their grips as he made the boat shake to cause it to sink,  but he was beaten hard.

Noel recounted that he managed to jump into the water, swam and ran to the neighboring houses.

Before the kidnappers along with Michelle left the place, they engaged in a gunfight with men of the Labuan Police Station led by Sr. Insp. Chester Natividad who responded to  the incident.

The kidnappers and their captive then sped towards Zamboanga del Norte.

It was learned that the kidnappers also ransacked the store of grocery items and P50,000 in cash

Moreover, the kidnappers met Perla Paing, a fish broker, along the way and grabbed her bag containing P100,000.

DZT also gathered that a certain Asbi Abirin of the same place was also seized by the same  group but he was released along the shore.

Noel sustained injuries in the different parts of his  body.

Col. Andrelino Colina, commander of the Task Force Zamboanga, said the Naval Forces Western Mindanao launched a pursuit operation. He said the Navy was unable to report sightings of the kidnappers.

Passengers in an inbound motorboat that arrived in Barangay Labuan later claimed they saw a pumpboat speeding toward the coastal area of Zamboanga del Norte.

Authorities suspected that the abductors came from the same group responsible in the previous kidnapping incidents in the area.

Michelle is the third person to be kidnapped in Labuan.

Olivia Angeles Barredo, also a businesswoman,  was seized on March 3, 2011 and was released on April 22 of the same year.

Flordelisa Ongchua Ramones, a teacher,  was seized on November 13, 2012 and was freed on December 27 of the  same year.   Filipino-Swiss Charlie Reith, on the other hand, was seized on April 4, 2010 at his rest house in the nearby barangay of Patalon and was released on  June 16 of the same year.

Edgar Fabella, a businessman from Maasin, was abducted on February 22, 2013 and was released on January 11, 2014.

Another victim, Michaek Co was seized in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte and was released at the shore of Labuan early this year.

2 suspected kidnap-for-ransom gang members killed in Zambo shootout

Also early this year, police killed in a shootout two suspected kidnap-for-ransom gang members and arrested six others,including a policeman and a barangay official, in a raid in Barangay Sta. Maria, this city.

Four other kidnap suspects  managed to escape while a raiding team member was wounded in the ensuing shootout,

City Police Director Senior Supt. Angelito Casimiro.said the joint raiding team swooped down on the suspects’ safe house around 1:30 a.m. Monday to serve a  search warrant issued by the court for violation of Republic Act 10591 otherwise known as the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

Casimiro said a shootout erupted as the suspects opened fire at the raiding team that injured Police Officer Carlos Buraig of the Special Action Force (SAF).

Those arrested were identified as Mamarin Pilay, 51, barangay captain of  Lakiki, Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte; PO1 Saudi Apion, 35, who is assigned in Lamitan City, Basilan; Alraf Apion, 27;  Jakaria Jamani, 22, Allan Abdullah, 29; and, Nasser Siddik, 24.

Recovered from the suspects’ safe house were four caliber .45 pistols with ammunition and three fragmentation grenades.