Police, military track down abducted trader-A A +A
Thursday, February 20, 2014
COMBINED police and military operatives have cordoned the exit points in Zamboanga City’s east coast immediately after a group of six suspected kidnappers seized a businesswoman.
Zamboanga City Vice-Mayor Cesar Iturralde, city’s officer-in-charge, said Thursday that search and rescue operations are ongoing to recover Sabrina Ikbala Voon from the hands of her still unidentified abductors.
Voon, a dealer of cosmetic products, was seized by six unidentified gunmen around 8:56 p.m. Wednesday at Sitio Pohoc in the village of Mercedes, 12.75 kilometers east of the city.
Iturralde said the police are also verifying information about the driver of the recovered van that was allegedly used by the kidnappers in transporting the victim from her residence to the shoreline.
The van, which was rented by the suspects from a local rent-a-car firm, was recovered several minutes after at Sitio Gapuh in the nearby village of Talabaan.
Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, who is in Manila, is closely coordinating with Senior Superintendent Angelito Casimiro, officer-in-charge of the Zamboanga City Police Office, for the conduct of pursuit operations and coordination with the family.
Salazar expressed hope that authorities gain leeway for the immediate recovery of the victim and other hostages, such as public school teacher Cathy Mae Casipong, who is still in the hands of the abductors.
Casipong was seized by gunmen last December 18 while she and her co-teachers were en route to the city proper. Her co-teachers managed to escape.
Salazar has instructed the village officials to assist the police authorities for the swift recovery of the hostages.