No demand yet for Zambo hostage

June 20, 2010 11:02 pm 

By Teofilo P. Garcia

ZAMBOANGA CITY, June 20 — Government troops are continuously exerting efforts to locate and rescue the latest victim of abduction in this southern port city.

Mayor Celso Lobregat, Crisis Management Committee (CMC) chairman, said the fate of the 60-year-old victim remained vague as his captors had not sent words or demand in exchanged for his freedom.

Vicente Barrios, a resident of Barangay Tumaga, this city, was abducted by five gunmen around 8:35 a.m. Thursday off shore east of this city.

Barrios, a caretaker of the Dragon Marine Products, along with a companion came from Bisaya-Bisaya Island where the firm, which is into culture of groupers, maintains fish cages.

Raing Haruddin, 45, Barrios’ companion and motorized banca operator, managed to escape and immediately reported the incident to the authorities.

“We consider the case as abduction as of today because there is no ransom demand as of now,” Lobregat said, citing the authorities are exerting all efforts to determine the location and secure the safe recovery of Barrios.

Lobregat said Barrios’ relatives had been briefed about the situation and the actions being taken by authorities.

“They are in a state of shock but what is important at present is prayers,” he said.

Lobregat appealed to Barrios’ abductors to treat their victim well and to release him the soonest possible time without conditions.

He also called on the public to share any information that may lead to the location and eventually the recovery of Barrios.

Barrios’ abduction came barely a day after civic leader Charlie Rieth, a Swiss-born Filipino, was safely rescued by authorities after over two months in captivity.

The government remains firm in its stand of no ransom policy in any kidnapping case. (PNA) RMA/Teofilo P. Garcia/rsm

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