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Abducted trader rescued, 5 kidnappers arrested

Police rescued a farm owner in Bicol after a brief clash with his captors in the mountainous area of Camarines Sur, authorities disclosed yesterday.

Senior Supt. Glenn Dumlao, commander of the Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG), said the rescue started after coordination was made with the police regarding the payoff of ransom amounting to P1.2 million.

“This is actually the second payoff, fortunately the family was convinced to cooperate with us which resulted in this,” said Dumlao.

During the payoff, police have arrested Joven Ortiz after a brief clash with the policemen who were about to bust them on March 6. His seven other companions were able to escape.

Dumalo said that during the interrogation, Ortiz squealed the location of the victim identified as Francis Leo Sta. Maria Maulion, telling the cops that the safehouse is in between the mountainous area of Pasacao and Libmanan towns, in Camarines Sur.

The following day, AKG operatives and local police raided the safehouse which led to the rescue of Maulion.

On March 9, police also raided another safehouse in Sitio Sta. Lucia in Barangay Maninila of Camalig town in Albay where Maulion was previously held captive and resulted in the arrest of four other suspects, including a barangay captain.

Those arrested were identified as Gerry Mancera, 46, the barangay captain of Barangay Maninila; Jefferson Cuachin, 26; Prudencio Ruiz, 59; and, Cesar Garcia, 47, barangay security officer.

Dumlao said follow-up operations are still being conducted against at least three other suspects, including the alleged leader identified as Ronald Cuachin.

Maulion told the reporters in yesterday briefing at Camp Crame that he was inside his farm at around 1:30 p.m. on November 23 last year in Barangay Kamuning in Calabanga, Camarines Sur when armed men entered and poked guns at them.

“They barged inside and then I ran. But they chased me and pointed guns at me. They then took me to different
locations,” said Maulion.

Maulion is a businessman, among his businesses aside from having a poultry farm are bakery and gas station.
(AARON RECUENCO)

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