Missing doctor returns home safe

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Thursday, March 27, 2014


MABALACAT CITY -- The city police here has confirmed that the missing pediatrician has returned home safe last Tuesday.

City police chief Superintendent Ferdinand Perez said that Dr. Fred Punzalan, who was reportedly missing since March 17, was released by his abductors somewhere at Barangay Tinabang in nearby Magalang town.

Perez, however, said that it is not clear if Punzalan's family paid a ransom to the victim's alleged kidnappers.

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The police official said there were rumors that the Punzalans paid P50,000 to the suspects and the victim was given P40 before he was released.

But no member of the Punzalan family confirmed these reports, said Perez.

He said that the city police cannot conclude that there was a kidnap-for-ransom case based on the information gathered by investigators.

There was no official demand for ransom and there was no payoff made, said Perez, despite reports that the suspects asked for P10 million from the family.

Perez said they are pursuing the investigation despite the lack of cooperation from the Punzalan family.

Punzalan would park his car along a busy alley while attending patients inside his clinic in Barangay Poblacion here.

The physician disappeared and his car was left near his clinic.

"Yung tricycle drivers malapit sa clinic ni Dr. Punzalan, sabi ay wala naman silang napansin na kakaiba nung Monday na sinasabing araw na nawala si doc," Perez said.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 28, 2014.

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