Kidnapping continues! Australian latest victim PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 17:08

A 56-year-old Australian national became the latest victim of kidnapping in the region after he was seized by seven gunmen  at their residence in Green Meadows Subdivision, Barangay Upper Pangi, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay last Monday night.

Warren Richard Rodwell, married, a resident of Ipil, and a retired soldier, was inside their house with his family when gunmen broke in, tied his hands and dragged him outside.

Investigators believe that Rodwell was physically harmed by the kidnappers after they found blood stains in the house during an ocular investigation.
Reports said that Rodwell was first brought to a forested area.

Military and police forces were deployed in a nearby coastal village where the kidnappers transferred him in an attempt to flee by boat to neighboring islands where they usually hide, army spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said.

In the Australian capital of Canberra, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said yesterday that her government has formed a task force to investigate the kidnapping. Such task force typically includes trained hostage negotiators.

Gillard said the Australian Embassy in Manila is working with local authorities to establish the facts of the incident.

Rodwell and his wife run a store in Ipil and he has been staying in the town for more than six months.

The Australian national is the second to have been kidnapped in Zamboanga Sibugay this year.

Luicita Galvez, wife of a British national was seized by kidnappers at her beauty salon in Ipil last September. She was released after about a month in captivity.

Gerfa Yeats, a US citizen, was also kidnapped in Sacol Island, this city was released last October after months in captivity.

Another kidnapping victim, businesswoman Monalisa Almonte, was seized by gunmen in Pitogo, Zamboanga del Sur and was released late November. — Dan Toribio Jr.