CPOC tackles Fabella kidnap PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 January 2013 14:57

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday morning convened the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) to assess the situation as well as discuss measures on how to tackle the abduction incident involving an eatery owner in Maasin Friday night.

Edgar Mortera Fabella, 50, of Barangay Maasin and owner of a small eatery and variety (sari-sari) store, was forcibly abducted by five armed men in his store around 6:40pm Friday. Three of the 5 suspects boarded the victim into a pumpboat docked at the barangay’s shoreline and sped towards the direction of Sta. Cruz Island while the two others who acted as lookouts boarded a motorcycle and sped towards the west coast after the incident.

The CPOC approved the creation of Task Force Edgar, a composite team headed by City Police OIC Director Col. Edwin de Ocampo, to probe into the incident as well as to find ways how to recover the victim and identify and consequently collar and prosecute the suspects and masterminds.

Lobregat, who chairs the CPOC and de Ocampo briefed the media about the incident after the Council’s executive meeting at the City Hall conference room. Other council members to include Task Force Zamboanga Chief Col. Glen Macasero, Monsignor Cris Manongas, DILG City Director Mohammad Arakama, City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr., Sinunuc and Ayala police station commanders and representatives from other concerned agencies were also present during the press briefing. 
As of press time, no group has admitted responsibility over the incident and that no member of the family has been contacted by the victim nor by the abductors as well.

Fabella’s emotionally-affected wife was with the mayor at the start of the press briefing but requested that her family’s privacy be respected. She left the conference room a few minutes before the briefing.

Lobregat appealed to the media to respect the family’s feelings and adhere to the request for privacy stressing that the primary concern right now is the safety of the victim.

He stressed that the police and military authorities are exerting are coordinating efforts in a bid to determine the whereabouts of the abductors and the victim and eventually to safely recover Fabella.

The CPOC has tasked only Lobregat and de Ocampo to issue statements concerning the incident.

Authorities say the modus operandi used in the abduction of released victim Flordeliza Ongchua in Labuan last November 13, was totally different from the operation used by the abductors in Maasin last Friday. The perpetrators in Maasin used two types of exit—by land and by sea.

De Ocampo said Fabella does not own big businesses except for the small carinderia (eatery) and small store attached to his residence. He said the family has not received threats nor any indication of being abducted prior to the incident.

In view of previous abduction incidents occurring in coastal areas, he said authorities from the Sinunuc Police station have not faltered in advising residents near the shorelines in all barangays under its jurisdiction to take precautionary measures.

However, de Ocampo said the Fabella family, as relayed by the wife, disregarded the caution, as the family is just an ordinary family and cannot be a potential victim.

The authorities during the meeting presented a cartographic sketch of one of the suspects, believed to be 27 years old, between 5’6 to 5’7 in height, tagalog-speaking with Tausug accent. — Sheila Covarrubias