‘Kidnappers realized I’m poor,’ says freed hostage PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 February 2013 14:34

Authorities Friday breathed a sigh of relief, as Edgar Fabella, the eatery owner who was abducted at his residence in Maasin last January 11, was freed by his captors unharmed.

“Nabunutan tayo ng tinik. It’s been 42 days since Edgar Fabella was taken captive,” Mayor Celso Lobregat said after presenting the freed Fabella to the media in a press briefing at City Hall yesterday morning. “Salamat sa Diyos at nakalaya na siya”.

Lobregat, together with Wesmincom Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Eugenio Clemens and OIC City Police Director Sr. Supt. Edwin de Ocampo presented Fabella to the media, a few hours after the latter arrived from Sulu where he was freed following negotiations between the captors and the victim’s relatives. Also present was Col. Malayo of the Police-R-2 (intelligence) unit.

In a brief statement, Fabella thanked the Almighty for his safe release saying that his captors treated him well and that he in turn helped his captors by cooking food for them.

“Buti na lang po naawa sila sa akin dahil mahirap lang po kami. Ako po ay isang carinderia owner lang [It’s good that they took pity on me and realized that my family is very poor, I am just a carinderia (eatery) owner]”, Fabella said. “Nagpapasalamat ako sa Diyos, nakauwi na ako at makakasama ko na ulit pamilya ko” [I thank God that I am home and reunited with my family].

Fabella said after forcibly taking him from his residence in Maasin, he was brought to an unidentified destination. “Pagkuha nila sa akin 6:30 ng gabi, sa gabi paggising ko nasa ibang lugar na ako, hindi ko alam kung saan. Nalaman ko na lang na nasa ibang lugar ako nang pauwi na ako”. [I was taken at 6:30 in the evening (January 11). When I woke up the following day, I was already in another place that was unfamiliar to me. I just came to know that I was in another place when I was on my way home”]. He said he could not identify his abductors nor the group they belong.

Visibly tired and dazed, Fabella begged to be excused after answering a few questions from the media.

Mayor Lobregat said Fabella was released 10 am Friday in Sulu after series of negotiations between the captors and the wife. He hinted that the family sought his assistance in the course of the negotiations and other concerns.

As in the previous incidents, he said, the city complied with the no-ransom policy in the Fabella case.

He admitted that initially, the abductors demanded P20 million and later lowered to P5 million. However, the abductors later realized that the Fabella family has no means of paying any ransom for the release of the head of the family.

The mayor likewise thanked the media for respecting the family’s privacy all throughout the process.

As this developed, Gen. Clemens and Col. De Ocampo said security measures have been strengthened in the coastal areas through the deployment of uniformed and plainclothesmen and the augmentation of troops in a bid to prevent similar incidences in the future.  — Sheila Covarrubias