Police anti-kidnapping unit focuses efforts in Mindanao after series of abductions PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 October 2010 13:26

he Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response (PACER) is now focusing its efforts in Mindanao following strings of kidnapping cases in southern Philippines recently.

PACER chief Sr. Supt. Isagani Nerez said that while kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) cases in Luzon and Visayas regions were on a downtrend, the police anti-KFR unit has monitored an upsurge in the number of kidnapping incidents in Mindanao.

Nerez has called for more public awareness to prevent kidnapping.

”We want to agitate the community awareness and we want to ask for community support in our drive against kidnapping,” said Nerez.

”…we can say with much happiness that in Luzon and in Visayas, kidnapping incidents are steadily going down, except in Mindanao where there are a lot of cases and it’s now our area of concern,” he added.

”It is our hope that we will be able to strengthen our capabilities in Mindanao to help the LGUs (local government units), to help the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) units and other police units in Mindanao in dealing, to cut down the number of kidnapping cases,” Nerez also said.

According to Nerez, KFR incidents in Luzon and Visayas regions have gone down compared to last year’s figure.

As of October, the PACER has recorded only 18 kidnapping cases as to the 35 in 2009.

Of the 18 KFR cases in Luzon and Visayas, Nerez said that 15 were solved by the PACER during relentless operations that resulted in the arrest and neutralization of kidnap men.

”We are continuously exerting efforts to solve the remaining kidnapping incidents in Luzon area,” said Nerez, noting that only last week six KFR members were neutralized during a police operation in Cavite province.

Nerez explained that PACER is maintaining separate list of kidnapping cases for Mindanao, noting the different motivations in such cases in the region like KFR, political and even acts of terrorism.

”Sometimes, we are thinking that those kidnapping incidents in Mindanao are actually beyond the ambit of Human Security Act and not within the purview of the Revised Penal Code,” said Nerez.

Only this month, at least two Filipino-Chinese traders were kidnapped by suspected KFR groups in Cotabato City.

The victims were subsequently released but there were reports that ransom were demanded by the perpetrators.