CMC formalizes creation of TF Lunsmann PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 July 2011 17:01

The Crisis Management Committee headed by Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday formalized the creation of Task Force Lunsmann, a group that will look into measures to resolve the abduction of 42 year old Gerfa Lunsman and two members of her family in the island barangay of Tigtabon Tuesday dawn.

This, even as combined operatives from the police and military are working round the clock to locate Mrs. Lunsmann, her 14 year old son Kevin Eric and her 19-year old nephew Romnick Jakaria and to identify and neutralize their abductors.

In a meeting at City Hall yesterday morning, the Lobregat-led CMC finalized the membership of the task force as well as their individual duties and responsibilities. The task force is an automatic creation by the Chief PNP when kidnapping incidents transgress regional boundaries.
Task Force Lunsmann is headed by PSupt Felixberto Candado, Police Regional Office Deputy Director.

Lobregat said the committee during the executive session tasked Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in cooperation with the Crime Laboratory, City Police Office and the National Bureau of Investigation to lead in the probe of the Lunsmann abduction. An Operation center for the task force will be established in City Hall.

The committee likewise designated Mayor Lobregat to be the spokesman of the particular case so as to prevent the issuance of conflicting statements regarding the incident.

“I hope you understand, as we have been doing in the CMC, there has to be coordination in the release of information that is very vital to the security of the victims and the operation against the perpetrators”, the mayor said in a press briefing after the CMC executive session.

The meeting yesterday was also attended by Police Director Leocadio Santiago Jr., chief of the Directorate for Operations in Camp Crame and Col. Almaden, head of the AFP Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council (JPSCC) who were sent by Chief PNP and AFP Chief of Staff to establish coordination with the CMC.

The meeting yesterday was preceded by the interview with some witnesses to the Tuesday dawn incident in Tigtabon and results of which will form part of the Task Force investigation.

Mayor Lobregat said the Tigtabon incident is still considered an abduction case, as no demands nor contacts have been established neither by the victims nor the perpetrators as of press time.

“As of now it is considered an abduction, there are no contacts with the victim or the abductors, there are no demands”, the mayor emphasized stressing that the investigation as well as intelligence gathering is going on at this time.

He said: “There are no indication of who the groups (behind the abduction) are and if there are and when there are, again this will have to be kept on a need to know basis because our primary concern is the life and safety of the victims”.

The CMC head also admitted that the US government has people on the ground who are closely coordinating and sharing information with the CMC and the authorities.

He stressed that the CMC and the authorities have been meeting and coordinating efforts since after the incident Tuesday with the hope of resolving the case the soonest time possible.

“We are not resting and we are doing everything we can to solve this matter”, the mayor added.
Meanwhile, PDir. Santiago said he was sent to Zamboanga by Chief PNP Romeo Bacalzo to verify if the prerequisite template on how the PNP will synergize to resolve the problem is being implemented. “We are here to verify whether it is responsive to the requirements of the CMC and as to whether there will be any tactical option but that is yet to be determined”.

He said the authorities have to determine if the abduction is kidnap for ransom which can only be determined if and when somebody from the other side will communicate with the authorities or the relatives.

Col. Almaden for his part expressed appreciation to the precise and active leadership of Mayor Lobregat in handling the Crisis Committee.
“We are lucky we have a good local executive officer here in the person of Mayor Lobregat. The way he handled the things prior to your coming, we can say that we have very good preparations and hopefully we can respond accordingly,” Col. Almaden told newsmen.

Mrs. Lunsmann and son Kevin are American citizens while Jakaria is a resident of Malamawi, Basilan. They were believed to have been taken by 14 armed men on board two pumpboats around 3 am Tuesday.