Gunmen abduct elderly woman, 10-year-old grandson in S. Philippines

17:50, November 01, 2010      

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Armed men barged into the residence of a family engaged a construction business in southern Philippines and abducted an elderly woman and her 10-year-old grandson late Saturday, an regional military commander said Monday.

Military and police efforts are underway to secure the freedom of the victims, 55-year-old Babeth Gomonit and grandson Ceekim Gomonit, said Maj. Gen. Romeo Lustestica, commander of the Army's 1st Infantry Division.

Quoting belated reports, Lustestica said the four still unidentified suspects broke into the Gomonit residence at San Jose village in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur province around 10:45 p.m. Saturday. The woman is the wife of engineer Dannel Gomonit, who is running the construction business.

"The suspects barged inside the house of the victims and hogtied the members of the household using masking tapes and ropes, " said Lustestica, adding that the suspects later fled with the two victims aboard an sports utility vehicle owned by the family and fled towards Labangan town.

The vehicle was recovered by the police around 10 a.m. Sunday at Sugod village in Tukuran town, said Lustestica, adding that the Philippine National Police (PNP) are conducting a thorough investigation on the case.

"Concerned units of 1st Infantry Division are conducting checkpoint operations and intelligence gathering in support to the PNP to facilitate recovery, rescue of victims and arrest of the perpetrators," said Lustestica.

Lustestica revealed that the city's crisis management committee convened on Sunday "to initially oversee resolution of abduction case."

The kidnappers have yet to contact the victims' family. "As of now, they have yet to relay demands for ransom or whatever demand. There is still no communication from those who abducted them,"said Lustestica, adding that authorities have yet to establish the identities of the suspects or their group affiliation.

Source: Xinhua


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