Celso condemns Tigtabon abduction; orders prompt action vs perpetrators PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 14:37

Mayor Celso Lobregat has strongly condemned the latest abduction incident in the island barangay of Tictabon involving a Pangapuyan resident, who is a holder of an American passport and two members of her family, saying it will once again put not only Zamboanga but Mindanao and the entire country in a bad light.

“We condemn this latest act of abduction. There are no demands yet but this is the first time that a holder of a  US passport is abducted”, the mayor told City Hall reporters yesterday. “I am sure we will really get a lot of international attention in this regard and really this is another bad incident not only for Zamboanga City, Mindanao but the entire country”.

As this developed, the mayor has ordered police and military authorities to coordinate efforts to locate the victims and identify and arrest the perpetrators.
He likewise immediately communicated with local government officials in Basilan and the neighboring provinces to seek assistance and information concerning reports that the victims were brought to the area.

The mayor said the Tictabon incident was the second since the kidnapping of the 3 Zamboangueno teachers off the waters in Landang Gua in 2009. “We really have to coordinate closely with officials of other provinces especially so it was reported that the victims were brought to Basilan”.
He stressed that the incident shows transgression of regional boundaries thus, the need to involve the local government officials, police and military authorities from the
provinces including the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO).

The City Peace and Order Council (CPOC), headed by Mayor Lobregat, in a scheduled meeting yesterday afternoon tackled the prevailing peace and order situation with the Tigtabon abduction incident as the top agenda. The mayor also convened the Crisis Management Committee (CMC) which is a group under the CPOC to discuss initiatives to fast track the recovery of the victims and identification of the suspects were discussed.

Abducted early dawn Tuesday was 42-year old Gerspa Yeats Lunsmann (original name Julpha Jailani), her 14 year old son Kevin Eric and her 19 year old nephew Romnick Jakaria in the island barangay of Tictabon. Reports reveal that 14 armed men aboard two pump boats snatched the victims from Lunsmann’s resting house located in the coastal area and brought the 3 to Basilan province.

Reports also show that Mrs. Lunsmann, a native of Pangapuyan, was adopted by a foreigner when she was 9 years old. While abroad, she married a German national after which they settled in Virginia, USA. She arrived Zamboanga City June 29 for a vacation with her son Kevin and was scheduled to return to Manila and later the USA yesterday afternoon.

As of press time, authorities said no ransom demand or contacts have been established neither by the abductors nor the victims.
The Tigtabon abduction came some three months after Olivia Barredo was released April 20. — Sheila Covarrubias