Kidnap victim killed in firefight Print
Friday, 09 March 2018 13:16


A timber cutter who was earlier reported missing in Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte was killed during a firefight between government troops and lawless elements in Barangay Panabutan, Sirawai last Wednesday.

Police Regional Office-9 Chief Inspector Helen Galvez identified the kidnap victim as Mario Rosales aka Mario Ungok, 46 years old, single and a resident of Barangay San Nicolas, Sirawai.

Galvez said that goverment troops were conducting combat and rescue operations on the five missing timber cutters at Sitio Kabatunayan when they encountered ten members of a lawless group under Jamilon Wahab Tukalan.

The encounter led to a 10-minute firefight where Rosales was killed in the crossfire.

His body was later identified by his employer, Tata Subebe of Barangay San Vicente.

Rosales together with four timber cutters identified as Roger Jung-an,  Jomar Maglangit,  Reymond Purisima, and  Jomar Mantangan, were reported missing last Saturday.

The five timber cutters reportedly went to Sitio Maasum, Barangay San Nicolas purposely to cut timber in the area at around 6a.m.  They failed to return to their respective homes that evening.

Last Monday, a certain Jojo Ebalde, a chainsaw operator, received a telephone call from an unknown individual who was demanding P10-million in ransom for the release of the victims.

The amount was subsequently reduced to P15,000 for each of the victims.

A crisis management committee meeting presided in by Sirawai Mayor Gamar Janihim led to the identification of Jamilon Wahab and Bating Lumiguis as leaders of the lawless group which kidnapped the victims.

At around 10:30 a.m. last Wednesday, elements of the Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Mobile Force Company together with personnel of the 42nd Infantry Battalion were conducting rescue operations when they encountered the alleged kidnappers.  (Ely Dumaboc)