Armed men abducted six people, including two minors, in Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay, Tuesday morning but released the captives later in the day after negotiations by local officials, police said.

Director Felicisimo Khu, chief of the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao, identified the victims as Mae Jane Luchavez, 15, Anabelle Luchavez, 31, Kennymarie Dalagan, 24, Bader Luchavez, 26, Enriqueta Perjes, 45, and Merlinda Luchavez, 5.

Three men, including Munib Aukasa, listed among the region’s ten most wanted persons for his alleged involvement in murder and highway robbery cases, abducted the six around 10:45 a.m. in Brgy. Tigbanuang, Khu said in a text message.

Around 12 p.m., Aukasa released Dalagan and ordered her to tell the Tungawan Police that he will free the other victims if his wife will be released from police custody.

Aukasa’s wife was arrested earlier, when policemen who were about to serve a warrant of arrest to her husband, found a shotgun at their home, according to Khu.

After learning of the abductors’ demand, Tungawan Mayor Randy Climaco convened the crisis management committee and sent barangay kagawads Lorverle Caracol and Hamin Jimlani as negotiators.

“The negotiators were able to free the five other victims safely,” Khu said, without telling whether Aukasa’s demand was met.

Police and military personnel were sent to pursue the abductors after the victims were freed, Khu said. (John Roson)

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