ZAMBOANGA CITY – Kidnappers have freed on Monday afternoon a 68-year old woman and her grandson on an island off Zamboanga City in southern Philippines, police said.
Insp. Dahlan Samuddin, a regional police spokesman, said Isabel Muyargas and her five-year old grandson Ismael Kyle Hamad were recovered in Kabog Island near Tumitus village. He said a village councilman, Kiram, fetched the duo and handed them over to the local police force.
“They were abandoned by the kidnappers on the island and Councilman Kiram fetched them and the woman and her grandson are now under the care of the police,” Samuddin told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.
He said no ransom was paid for the safe release of the victims. “From what we gathered, we understand that the woman begged to the kidnappers to free them because they are not wealthy and just living the life of a simple family. She told them to have pity on the boy and that she is also sickly,” Samuddin said.
Muyargas, a former education official, and the boy were seized from their home in Bangkeron village in Ipil town on September 6. They were dragged by five gunmen to two waiting motorized boats and escaped.
Police said the kidnappers were armed with automatic rifles, but it was not immediately known whether they are members of the Abu Sayyaf or other rebel groups.
No individual or group claimed responsibility for the latest abductions. Just early this year, Abu Sayyaf gunmen also kidnapped Mayor Gemma Adana, of Naga town near Ipil. And previous kidnappings in Ipil and nearby areas have also been blamed by authorities to Abral Abdusallam – one of the most notorious kidnap gang leaders in western Mindanao. (With a report from E. Dumaboc)
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