(UPDATE) Businessman, daughter kidnapped in Cotabato City

By LERIO BOMPAT, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao

Posted at Feb 18 2009 08:25 PM | Updated as of Feb 19 2009 09:30 PM

A businessman and his 10-year old daughter were kidnapped Wednesday afternoon in Cotabato City.

Wilson Tan, owner of a Cotabato City fish trading company, and daughter Jennifer were taken by unidentified men Wednesday 5 p.m..

Wilson’s wife Janet was earlier reported to have been able to escape the abduction but she reportedly sustained a wound on her neck and was immediately brought to a hospital.

The victims were reportedly about to enter the gate of their house in Cotabato City when four fully-armed armed men approached and dragged the three to a white Mazda van with plate number MVR 879.

The suspects then reportedly took the victims towards Sitio Kamasi in Poblacion 8 in Cotabato City where the abductors abandoned and burned the get-away vehicle. The abductors then reportedly transferred the victims to two motorized boats waiting in the area.

The two motorized boats then reportedly withdrew towards Barangay Pagalamatan in Kabuntalan town in Maguindanao province after a brief encounter with elements of Cotabato City police and Joint Task Unit Tugis.

Senior Superintendent Willie Dangane, Cotabato City police chief said the Pentagon kidnap-for-ransom-group headed by Myangkang Saguile was the group behind the kidnapping.

"This was really well planned… They even torched their get-away vehicle," Dangane said.

Cotabato City Mayor Muslimin Sema, meanwhile, disclosed that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front is now helping them in pursuing the abductors which he said were sighted in a marshy part of the area.

The military has used its air assets in the effort to locate the abductors and the victims.

"May initial demand na sila na pinapa-withdraw kami… So talagang may pressure… I believe the same group lamang to noong nagtangkang mandukot kay Doktora Milagros Yap months ago but we will never stop," Sema said citing the foiled kidnapping which occurred last year in which the victim was successfully rescued.

The victims’ relatives meanwhile has still refused to give any details on the incident.

The incident was the first reported abduction in Cotabato city this year.