Pretty lass from prominent Mercedes family abducted PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 21 February 2014 13:03

Six gunmen posing as lawmen seized a pretty 28-year-old lass at their posh residence in Calle Pohok, Mercedes in what is believed to be another kidnapping in Zamboanga City Wednesday night.

Sabrina Ikbala Voon was taken to a rented van that sped away towards Sitio Gapuh, Talabaan.

The white Hi-Ace van with plate number GPH 851 was later recovered at a secluded area in the interior of Sitio Gapuh.

Report said that Sabrina and her mother Isabel Ikbala Voon and other members of the family were inside their house when armed men arrived shortly before 9 p.m.

DZT gathered that the occupants of the house were inside the Voon compound when the armed men appeared and introduced themselves as lawmen saying that they were on drug operation.

However when they were inside the house, the gunmen tried to grab one of Isabel’s grand children that prompted her to prevent them from doing so.

It was learned that one of the gunmen shot Isabel but missed. She was then pistol whipped in the head.

At this point, the intruders saw Sabrina and immediately dragged her to the white Hi-Ace van which was waiting outside with their driver-companion.

A police report disclosed that from Calle Pohok, the abductors fled along with Sabrina towards Sitio Gapuh passing Calle Real St. heading for Balinsungay until they ended up  in Gapuh and Duncaan in Talabaan.

DZT gathered that the Hi-Ace van crashed on the roadside  after the driver saw a police car with policemen aboard who were deployed in the interior of Gapuh.

Policemen chased the van but when they cornered the vehicle, the abductors and their hostage victim were no longer inside.

It was further learned that when the police found the get-away van its engine was still running.

During ocular inspection, police and military personnel found an identification document showing that it is owned by Ignacio Curambao.

Moreover, it was gathered that the six men rented the vehicle from Curambao for P3,000 at the airport last Wednesday. Curambao entrusted the vehicle to them, but did not go with them.

Curambao later told investigators that the white Hi-Ace van was rented by one Rey Santos Cuevas around 9 a,m, last Wednesday.

Curambao said Cuevas was asking for Toyota Revo, but it was not available, so he settled for the Hi-Ace van.

He said it was the second time that Cuevas had rented a vehicle from his rent car service.

Government forces went on hot pursuit operation in Gapuh believing that the abductors and the hostage were still in the area.

However as of press time, there was no indication on where Sabrina was taken by the abductors.

A military official told reporters he believed the hostage is still in Zamboanga City and was not brought yet to Basilan, Sulu or elsewhere as in other past or previous kidnapping cases.

The Voon family is known as a prominent family in Barangay Mercedes. They own a  fishpond in Gapuh near where the get-away  van was abandoned by the kidnappers.

The abduction of Sabrina Voon came more than one month after a young female teacher was seized by gunmen in Limaong in the city’s east coast last December 17.

Cathy Vejerano Casipong, 23, a resident of Barangay Zambowood and assigned to the Sibugtoc Elementary School in the coastal  village of Limaong, and three other teachers were on board a motorized boat when they were intercepted by the  gunmen, who were also onboard two motorized boats.

The teacher was then transferred to the gunmen’s boat and sped off towards the Eleven Islands.

Casipong was the third victim to be abducted in a week’s time in Zamboanga Peninsula.

Another kidnapping took place in Jolo, Sulu last February 16 where a couple was grabbed by suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen.

Bonifacio and Marie Claire Salinas, both employees of the Jolo Mainland Water District, had just arrived from Zamboanga City, when they were snatched by gunmen outside their residence in Kasalamatan Village, San Raymundo, Jolo.

As of press time, the fate and whereabouts of the Salinas is are unknown.– Dan Toribio Jr.