Police pursue lass’ abductors PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 21 February 2014 13:02

Combined police and Task Force Zamboanga (TFZ) operatives have cordoned the exit points in the east coast, immediately after a group of six armed men abducted a 28-year-old woman in Barangay Mercedes, this city.

Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, who is currently the city caretaker and officer-in-charge of the City Mayor’s Office in the absence of Mayor Beng Climaco, said search and rescue operations are ongoing to recover Sabrina Ikbala Von from her still unidentified abductors.

Iturralde said the police are also verifying information that may lead to the solution of the incident. He was referring to the driver of the recovered van that was allegedly used by the kidnappers in transporting the victim from her residence to the shoreline.

Though in Manila, Mayor Climaco is closely coordinating with City Police OIC Director PSSupt. Angelito Casimiro for continuous conduct of pursuit operations and links with the family.

She expressed hope that authorities would gain headway for the release of the victim and other hostages such as teacher Cathy Casipong, who is still in the hands of the abductors.

The mayor also requested barangay officials to cooperate with PNP authorities for information.

It has not been confirmed yet whether or not the same armed group was responsible for the abduction of a public school teacher, Cathy Mae Casipong, in Limaong last Dec. 18. The teacher remains in the hands of her captors for more than two months now.

As this developed, the vice mayor lamented that the latest kidnapping incident happened amid his earlier call for strong police visibility, especially in the barangays.

He called on anew the 11 police precincts through the city to remain alert and visible in their respective areas of jurisdiction to prevent and solve crimes.

“While crime prevention is important, it is also very important for the police to react immediately after an incident is committed in their area. Immediate reaction may lead to solution, otherwise it would be hard to solve a crime if the police are late in their response,” Iturralde said.

Meanwhile, Iturralde advised the public to stay alert but calm amid the latest kidnapping incident, stressing that people should not be cowed by the incident as it would give the criminals moral victory.

“It will not affect. Let us be strong and let us not be cowed,” Iturralde said when asked whether the kidnapping would affect the upcoming Dia de Zamboanga celebration next week.— Vic Larato