Armed men abducted two public school teachers in Iligan City on Monday and are reportedly asking P4 million in exchange for their release, a police official said.

Chief Supt. Jufel Adriatico, Northern Mindanao regional police director, identified the victims as Keno Sanchez, 24, and Rene Sumagang, 26, both teachers at the Limunsudan Bayug Falls Elementary School.

The kidnappers, led by a certain Danagao Elias, are “allegedly demanding P4M through a letter” brought by another teacher who was also abducted but released, Adriatico said by phone.

Sanchez, Sumagang, and fellow teachers Arnel Pingas, Reynold Paringue, and Editha Nunial were abducted by five armed men at Purok 3 Kibulag, Sitio Limunsudan, Brgy. Rogongon, around 5:30 p.m., according to the official.

“There were several teachers (who were abducted) but three of them were released… ‘yung demand letter dala ng released teachers,” Adriatico said.

The kidnappers’ leader Elias, according to Adriatico, has pending charges for an arson incident committed in 2009 and is a “known extortionist.”

“I have dispatched several teams to run after the kidnappers and I told the city director not to come very close, they are now on the trail of the kidnappers but cannot just move in to rescue because they might put the life of the victims in jeopardy, but they are following them,” Adriatico said.

The suspects are said to be hiding somewhere in the mountainous boundary of Iligan City and Bukidnon as of this writing. (John Roson)

– end –