Gunmen seize bizwoman in Labuan, Zamboanga


A BUSINESSWOMAN was abducted by gunmen clad in camouflage uniforms in Labuan village, Zamboanga City while her husband managed to escape, a top police official reported Tuesday.

Zamboanga City police director Angelito Casimiro identified the victim as Michelle Panes, 36, whose family runs a grocery store at Purok 5 in Labuan.

Investigation showed that Panes and her husband, Noel, were about to close their grocery store around 7:45 p.m. Monday when three gunmen arrived and seized them.

Casimiro said the gunmen dragged them to the shoreline and forced them to board on one of the two motorboats. The grocery store of the victim is located about a hundred meters away from the shore of Labuan.

Noel fell into the water as he struggled and tried to overturn the motorboat in a bid to delay the movement of the suspects as the policemen had already been alerted.

“Mr. Noel Panes was able to escape from their abductors when the elements of the Labuan Police Station (Police Station 10) arrived and a shootout ensued,” Casimiro added.

The gunmen sped to the high seas towards the direction of the nearby province of Zamboanga del Norte.

Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has convened the Crisis Management Committee while troops are tracking down the whereabouts of Michelle.

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