MANILA - A businesswoman who was abducted in Quezon City last July 5 and rescued six days later said she knew she would be rescued if she could convince her abductors to go to Davao City.
Sally Chua, 51, said she convinced her abductors to allow her to withdraw the supposed ransom money from a bank in Davao, knowing that there was a chance for her to be rescued by police there.
She was rescued in Davao Thursday afternoon, July 11.
"Oo, kasi safe ang Davao. Mahigpit din ang security dun... So I chose Davao City," Chua told ANC Friday.
Chua, who is involved in a heavy equipment business, was abducted inside her office in Quezon City last July 5. The suspects had posed as businessmen involved in mining and pretended to order some equipment.
Calling her abductors "tough," Chua said it took them six days before they could settle on an amount for the ransom.
The suspects initially demanded P100 million then lowered it to P50 million to P25 million until it came to P15 million.
"They treated me well. 'Yung lang nga masyadong pressured, pagod na pagod na," she said.
From Manila to Butuan to Davao
In the interview, Chua said she was angry that no one came to her rescue after her abduction last Friday. She said the vehicle where she was placed was stuck in traffic on EDSA.
"'Yung first day nagagalit na ko kasi binaybay namin ang EDSA, traffic. Sabi ko wala man lang humabol sa akin. Kasi kung may humabol man lang, tiyak makukuha ako kasi super traffic," she said.
She said the kidnappers had tried to withdraw her ransom from banks in Butuan and Cagayan de Oro. Both banks could not produce the full amount of P15 million in only one day, she said.
This later convinced the kidnappers to go to Davao City and get the ransom.
Chua said her abductors were somehow well-connected and well-funded. She said they were able to board their car on a roll-on roll-off vessel even if it had no registration.
"Talagang prepared sila."
Police believe the abductors are members of a kidnap-for-ransom group based in Metro Manila.
Davao City Police chief Sr. Supt. Ronald Dela Rosa said the suspects might have decided to take Chua all the way to Mindanao with the belief that they would not be caught there.
"Pakiramdam nila mahihirapan na silang ma-monitor ng kapulisan pag outside Metro Manila na sila," he said in an interview with radio dzMM.
How Chua was rescued
Meanwhile, Dela Rosa shared how they were able to rescue Chua and neutralize some members of the kidnap-for-ransom group.
Dela Rosa said he immediately communicated with the manager of Allied Bank after he was alerted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Kidnapping Group that Chua would be withdrawing the supposed ransom money there.
He then assigned policemen in civilian clothing to stay inside the bank and watch out for Chua and her abductors.
"Nang bumaba na ng sasakyan si Sally, in-escortan ng isang kidnapper, pagpasok sa loob, yun na. Dinumog na ng ating pulis sa loob, ni-wrestling na. Naagaw si Sally at yung isang escort na kidnapper na-neutralize na," he recalled.
Dela Rosa said police also engaged in a shootout with the suspects who were still inside the vehicle.
Three suspects were killed in the firefight. No one was hurt from the police force.
Dela Rosa said 10 more suspects on board two white Mitsubishi Monteros were able to escape. The information came from the arrested suspect who admitted that his cohorts, other than the 3 killed, were not in the vicinity of the bank at the time of the shootout.
"Magaling itong grupo na ito... Pati movement nila, although naka-convoy, naka-distansya sila. Di mahalata na isang convoy sila," he said.
He said pursuit operations against the 10 are still ongoing. They have already identified the plate number of one of the vehicles, he added.
A birthday blessing
Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has issued a shoot-to-kill order against the suspects.
Chua and her family will now be provided 24 hours of police security, considering that 10 of the kidnappers are still at large, police said.
Chua said she feels happy and relieved now that she is back with her family.
Chua, who happens to celebrate her birthday today, said she considers this day the "most memorable" birthday she has ever had. -- With reports from Edwin Sevidal, dzMM; Doland Castro, ABS-CBN News