Barangay captain's son abducted in Zambo del Norte

By RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga

Posted at May 29 2015 12:00 PM | Updated as of May 29 2015 10:03 PM

ZAMBOANGA - A son of a barangay chairperson in Titay municipality, Zamboanga Sibugay province was abducted in Sitio Lupag, Barangay Malintubuan in Labason municipality, province of Zamboanga del Norte past 7 p.m. Thursday.

Sr. Insp. Mohammad Hashim Sahidaini, chief of Labason municipal police station, identified the victim as Dennis Cabadonga, 26.

Cabadonga's mother is the current chairperson of Barangay San Antonio. Their family is operating some businesses which include buy-and-sell of copra and a bakery.

Sahidaini said four to six armed men forcibly entered the compound where the storage room of the Cabadonga family is located. The suspects immediately left the area after they took hold of Cabadonga inside the compound.

They passed through the back of the compound and headed to the shoreline, which is just a few meters away, where two motorized pumpboats were waiting.

The armed men also took some of the personal belongings of some workers of Cabadonga.

Sahidaini said the suspects pretended and identified themselves as policemen conducting an anti-drug operation in the area.

Policemen of Labason municipal police station responded to a call of a resident, but failed to catch the abductors.

Based from intelligence information, the Cabadonga family has been receiving kidnapping threats from a certain group in Titay.

The family bought a property in Labason and started their businesses in the municipality. But they did not coordinate with the police nor requested security escorts amid the threats they have been receiving.

Police believe a certain Commander Maulana, an alleged leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) based in Sirawai municipality, Zamboanga del Norte, was behind the abduction.

Sahidaini said the group of Maulana is in cahoots with the Abu Sayyaf Group based in Sulu province.

The abductors used local residents in the area as their spotters or lookout to monitor the everyday routine of Cabadonga. They planned carefully their entry and exit in the area as well.

The crisis management committee of Labason will convene on Tuesday to further discuss the security loopholes that must be addressed following the abduction incident.

The commander of Joint Task Force Zambasulta, Rear Admiral Reynaldo Yoma, said most of the kidnap victims in the Zamboanga peninsula are being brought to Sulu.

These include the mayor of Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay, Gemma Adana, who was abducted last April 6.

The two Philippine Coast Guard personnel and a barangay chairman who were snatched in an island barangay in Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte were also spotted in Sulu.

Yoma said at least 14 captives are still in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu. The military has been conducting discreet operations in a bid to rescue some of the kidnap victims.