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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Abducted Iligan student says ‘no rescue’ took place

ONE of the four abducted persons in Iligan City who opted to keep quiet and hide, fearing for their lives after they were released by their captives, showed up to authorities and recounted what happened before they went missing on June 4.

In a statement released by the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology's (MSU-IIT) Office of Publication and Information (OPI), Juhari Gubat, 18, a General Education student met with the school administration Wednesday afternoon, June 8.

Contrary to reports circulating online, Gubat and the three others were not rescued by authorities, instead they were released by the kidnappers and even gave the latter P200.00 for fare to get back to Iligan City, the OPI statement bared.

Gubat was released along with Kevin Limpin, Hannah Yurong, and Eloisa Lacson, a non MSU-IIT student.

In the statement, Gubat related they went missing with Cid Rick Jamias and Berzon Paeste.

Gubat said they boarded a white Toyota Revo driven by a certain "Moamar," who introduced himself as Gubat’s cousin and then asked for his number. It was the first time Gubat and Moamar met.

According to OPI, Gubat described "Moamar" with curly hair and stands for about 5'3, and in his 30s.

"Later in the evening, Moamar called Gubat who was still in the dormitory with Paeste and Jamias. Moamar asked to hang out with the students. At the same time, Paeste also got a call from Lacson asking them if they were interested to hang out at Caltex Gas station. The three then allowed Moamar pick them up at the dormitory," the statement read.

While hanging out at the gas station, Jamias decided to leave for Maranding, Lanao del Norte and Moamar offered to drive him, and the rest of the group went along with Jamias.

While en route to Maranding, six armed men allegedly flagged down the Revo along barangay Buru-un, near Timoga Spring pools.

Gubat narrated to the school executives that the men who wore ball caps and carried backpacks pointed a .45 caliber pistol to the victims and ordered them to open the vehicle’s doors.

The unidentified men boarded the vehicle and then the students were blindfolded and taken to a muddy and uphill place after about two hours of driving.

Gubat said they were separated from Jamias and Paeste who were brought to another place, but Gubat, Lacson, Limpin, and Yurong were brought to Moamar’s house and were interviewed by the kidnappers about their parents' jobs.

Gubat shared the men were "very scary-looking" and kept on insisting they were into drugs.

The statement, posted on MSU-IIT's Facebook (FB) page, has now over 700 likes and more than 800 shares.

Some netizens, questioned Gubat's move to easily trust Moamar whom he only knew that day.

Arneil Lim Encarnacion, an FB account holder said something is fishy with Gubat's testimony.

"So a random stranger named Moamar approached Gubat and told him he is a cousin. Really?! A cousin he has never met or known. Then Gubat believed him outright and then they hang out together all night. Gubat is either the most gullible person in the world or he is not telling the whole truth," Encarnacion wrote.

Another netizen named Christal Hannah Lee wrote that Gubat might have been threatened if he tells the truth.

But others instead offered prayers to the students Cid Rick Jamias and Berzon Paeste who remain missing up to date.

MSU-IIIT Chancellor Sukarno Tanggol said the school's security measures have been heightened despite that the incident happened outside the campus.

The army and police have continued its search on the two missing students.

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