“WHOEVER took my son, please return him.”

This was the appeal coming from Gemma Garfil, mother of former inmate and backyard hog raiser Johnson Ciervo Garfil of Barangay Ara-al in La Carlota City, who was abducted at broad daylight on Monday, January 17, 2022, in Barangay Abuanan, Bago City.

The grieving mother said her grandchildren, who are still young, keep on asking where their father is and why he failed to return home as she pleaded to his captors not to hurt his son.

A cellphone video of how her son was captured along the highway in Purok Margarita around 10 a.m. on Monday was sent to a relative by a concerned citizen, but she said she could not bear watching it.

The short clip showed two helmet-wearing men alighted from two separate motorcycles, flagged Garfil who was also riding his motorcycle and later forced him into what appears to be a white Toyota Innova following a brief conversation.

“It’s painful (because) when he arrives home, he will just listen to music and not go out with anyone to drink alcohol,” she said, adding that they could hardly eat or sleep as they are worried about her son’s current state.

For his part, Edgardo Garfil, Johnson’s father, heard the accounts of those who witnessed his son’s abduction that the suspects were beating him badly while forcing him into their vehicle.

As of Friday, January 21, police investigation is leading into the possibility that the abduction was triggered by an unsettled debt.

Bago City Police Station chief Lieutenant Colonel Joem Malong said she sent her investigators to Cauayan where Garfil’s wife is living and learned that the victim has an unsettled P300,000 debt, although it was not clarified to whom he owes the amount.

Garfil was released from the Negros Occidental District Jail in Barangay Tabunan, Bago City in 2021 after he was imprisoned for rape charges.

The family of Garfil continue to appeal to help them locate the victim.