Monday, August 12, 2013

Kidnappers of ex-soldier's son in Maguindanao named

From the Philippine Star (Aug 12): Kidnappers of ex-soldier's son in Maguindanao named

Army and police intelligence officials have tagged the group of Commander Eskak of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters as behind abduction of a 19 year-old son of a retired soldier in Midsayap town, last Saturday night.

Police investigators, on the other hand, said the group that snatched Mark Anthony Baya, a college student, was comprised of eight BIFF bandits, six of them initially identified only as Akas, Bhuto, Dapz, Theng, Bedu and Apon, all ethnic Maguindanaons from the towns of Northern Kabuntalan and Datu Piang.

Senior police intelligence officials, who asked not to be identified owing to the sensitive nature of their assignments, said Commander Eskak also known as “King Size” in Maguindanao towns where he and his men operates, is a henchman of Ustadz Karialan, the interim leader of the BIFF.

Earlier reports said that Karialan has assumed the leadership of the brigand group due to the faltering health of its founder, Saudi-trained cleric Ameril Ombra Kato, who suffered a hypertensive stroke last year.

Gunmen barged into the store owned by Baya’s parents in Barangay Tumbras past 7:00 p.m. Saturday and forced him into a getaway car parked nearby and spirited him to a riverside village.

The gunmen then boarded a pumpboat at the swampy border of the neighboring North Cotabato and Maguindanao provinces.

Baya’s parents’ operates two small dry goods stores in Midsayap, one located in Barangay Tumbras, and the other at the public market.

Superintendent Reynante delos Santos, chief of the Midsayap municipal police, said the victim’s family has not received any message from his captors.

Delos Santos said that this could mean that the kidnappers were still on the move to avoid the military's pursuing troops.

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