ZAMBOANGA CITY: Soldiers and police personnel captured two members of a notorious kidnap-for-ransom syndicate during a raid Saturday in Zamboanga Sibugay.
Capt. Jefferson Mamauag, spokesperson for the 1st Infantry Division, said Hajer Dunggan and Alvin Prontosa were captured in their hideout in Tinan village in Ipil town, but three others managed to escape and are being pursued by authorities.
He said security forces led by Lt. Col. Yegor Rey Barroquillo, commander of the 44th Infantry Battalion, also seized three automatic rifles and two fragmentation grenades, including munitions, a detonating cord, and three motorized pump boats that the gang had been using in their activities.
Mamauag said the captured men were also involved in the kidnapping of five-year-old Alexa de la Cruz in January in Payao town. The child was released unharmed in February.
“The group is notorious for kidnapping, extortion and piracy in Zamboanga Sibugay province,” he said, adding that the gang was again planning to strike in Pagadian City.
Maj. Gen. Felicito Virgilio Trinidad, the division commander, commended troops and policemen for the capture of the kidnappers.