Student kidnapped in North Cotabato town

by Lerio Bompat, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao

Posted at Nov 19 2011 07:30 PM | Updated as of Nov 21 2011 06:22 PM

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – A third year college student was abducted by unidentified men at Barangay Dualing, Aleosan Town in North Cotabato Saturday midnight.

The kidnapped victim was identified as 23-year-old Rony Cabaya.

Cabaya is a relative of Aleosan Mayor Loreto Cabaya.

Based on information from the Aleosan Crisis Management Committee, the victim was on his way to Barangay Dualing from Midsayap town onboard a motorcycle or a “habal-habal” when the suspect forcibly took him and fled to Barangay Dunguan.

The driver of the motorcycle immediately informed local authorities and a pursuit operation was conducted.

Manuelito Gelledo, spokesman of the crisis management committee said that weeks ago, there were already suspicious men seen outside Mayor Cabaya's house.

"Few weeks ago mayroong umaaligid sa house ni Mayor pero ang akala is carnapping lang so ‘di binigyan ng attention," Gellado said.

Meanwhile, the local government of Aleosan activated its crisis management committee along with the disaster risk reduction and management council chaired by the municipal mayor.

Police and army forces are also monitoring the situation.

They suspect that Cabaya was a victim of mistaken identity.

"Kasi inakala nila na si Jason Cabaya ‘yun, nagtanong kaso ‘yung mga abductor sa victim daw na kung siya ba si Jason," Gellado said.

Local government units are calling on the abductors to safely release the victim who is just a scholar and a helper of Mayor Cabaya.

As of posting, there have been no calls or ransom demands from the suspects.