Elderly, 7-year-old boy held hostage

Local News Official
Local News OfficialSunStar File Photo

A SENIOR citizen and a child were held hostage and safely rescued after more than seven hours negotiation in a west coast village in Zamboanga City, the police said Tuesday, January 2, 2024.

The hostage drama at Zone 6 in Cawit village ended with the arrest of the suspect, the police said.

The local police said that safely rescued were Araceli Ortaleza, 74, and her seven-year-old grandson

The police identified the arrested hostage taker as Nelson Falcasantos, a relative of the hostages.

Investigation showed the hostage drama started just after Ortaleza’s grandson entered her house around 7 p.m. Monday, January 1.

The suspect, who was also inside Ortleza’s house, closed all the windows, locked the doors and held hostage Ortaleza and her grandson at knife-point.

Responding policemen led by Police Major Wilfredo Palamos, Jr., Zamboanga City Police Station 9 (ZCPS9) chief, and Policarpio Francisco, a cousin of the suspect, initiated the conduct of negotiation.

The police said the hostages were safely rescued after Palamos and Francisco successfully convinced the suspect to set them free and surrender.

Falcasantos was taken to the ZCPS9 after he arrest for proper disposition, the police said.


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