Abductors release Lanao Norte village chief

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Sunday, June 8, 2014


ILIGAN CITY -- After 10 days of captivity, the abductors released their kidnap-victim Rogelio Narciso Balena (not Rogelio Narciso as earlier reported), 61, chairman of Barangay Palao, Kolambugan Lanao del Norte, in the village of Bangon, Marawi City on Saturday, authorities said.

Senior Superintendent Madid Paitao, Lanao del Norte police provincial director, said his office received information that Balena was found. Then, he went straight to the site to verify it.

“When I received a phone call from Pundidato Mitumug of Mindanao State University that the kidnap victim was released, I went immediately to Marawi City to verify the report,” Paitao Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro by phone Saturday.

Paitao said: “The kidnap victim was left behind by seven armed men in Barangay Bangon and retrieved by unidentified person and Bangon Barangay chairman Hamza B. Pimping.”

Balena was brought to Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City for medical checkup since he was reported earlier to be suffering from hypertension.

Later, Paitao brought Balena to Marawi City police station for a debriefing and to his residence in Libertad, Kolambugan where he was reunited with his wife Angeles and family.

“Mrs. Balena denied any ransom paid when the kidnap victim was released,” Paitao said.

Balena was abducted at 11:30 a.m. of May 28 while on his way home.

Kolambugan Mayor Lorenzo Manegos, together with the 15th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police provincial command, sent medicines and support for Balena’s survival during his captivity under the suspected kidnap leader Wali Pelaez.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on June 09, 2014.

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