Armed men abducted a Manila-based gold appraiser at a resort in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, on Thursday when their transaction went awry, police said.

Chief Supt. Bienvenido Latag, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao police director, identified the victim as Dominador Mendoza Berdin, of Mandaluyong City.

The armed men took Berdin from the Hillside Resort in Brgy. Awang around 2:50 p.m. using an Elf truck (USL-905).

The vehicle was last seen heading towards lower Brgy. Capiton, where Berdin is believed to have been transferred to a motorized banca, Latag said in a text message.

In a phone interview, Senior Supt. Marcelo Pintac, Maguindanao Provincial Police director, said the incident may have stemmed from a failed transaction between Berdin’s group and the armed men.

“‘Yung abductors at saka ‘yung kinuha ay naka-check in na sa hotel nung hillside resort, ‘yung mga taga-Maynila pumunta diyan para tignan ‘yung ginto na sinasabi nitong mga tao. Siguro along the way, sa transaction nila, sabi nung appraiser eh hindi ginto ‘yan, ay dun na nagkalabu-labuan,” Pintac said.

Berdin’s companion, a female financier who Pintac declined to name, was able to escape the ruckus and reported the incident to the authorities.

Members of the Datu Odin Sinsuat Police and Maguindanao PNP Provincial Public Safety Company pursued the abductors and captured two of their alleged cohorts.

Suspects Norodin Andil and Ryan Usman, who yielded a caliber-.45 pistol, are now detained at the Datu Odin Sinsuat Police Station for further investigation, Pintac said. (John Roson)

– end –