Tag Archive: foreigners

The US government has warned its citizens against staying or traveling to the Zamboanga Peninsula amid what it calls a kidnap threat by terrorists against foreign nationals.

“A credible threat of a terrorist kidnapping-for-ransom plot against foreigners has been identified in the Zamboanga area,” the US embassy said in an advisory issued Wednesday.

The embassy advised all American citizens residing in or planning to travel to Zamboanga to “re-evaluate their personal safety situation and consider postponing travel” to the area.

“Any US government personnel already in Zamboanga have been directed to relocate to a secure area,” the embassy said.

“US government employees planning to travel to Zamboanga have been directed to defer their travel at this time,” it added.

The embassy’s warning came two days after police and military personnel arrested a “lawless element” tagged in the abduction of Italian missionary Fr. Giancarlo Bossi, at a mall in Zamboanga City.

Putot Jakaria was arrested Monday on warrants for illegal detention with robbery and kidnapping with serious illegal detention, Senior Supt. Edwin de Ocampo, Zamboanga City police director, said.

Jakaria is “allegedly” involved in the abduction of Bossi, the police official said.

Bossi was abducted on June 10, 2007 in Zamboanga Sibugay and freed July 19 the same year. He died in Milan, Italy in Sept. 2012 at the age of 62 due to lung cancer.

Maj. Ramon Zagala, chief of the Armed Forces’ public affairs office, said the military respects the US Embassy’s issuance of a travel advisory.

“The AFP deems it appropriate for any country to protect and at all times consider the safety and well-being of their people in their own country or abroad, as we likewise do here in the Philippines,” Zagala said.

He said the military will continue to monitor the security situation in Mindanao to protect Filipinos and foreign citizens.

“We are vigilant and will continue to monitor the security situation in the country, particularly in Mindanao. Our intelligence gathering and network sharing with other law-enforcement agencies, particularly the PNP, are in place to prevent any untoward incident,” Zagala said. (John Roson)

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A former police official, dismissed from the force just two years ago, was arrested with his cohort after the foreigners they tried to holdup beat them up in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, on Monday.

Senior Superintendent Valfrie Tabian, Nueva Vizcaya provincial police director, identified the suspects as former Chief Inspector Freddie Cacliong and Ivan Dumageng.

The two were arrested after they tried to pull a heist on foreigners involved in the mining business, at a junction along the National Highway in Brgy. Tuao North around 6:30 a.m.

According to Tabian, Chinese nationals Pan Ling Ming, Shu Teng, Filipino-Japanese Enrique Yamamoto, and Filipino-Chinese driver Robert Go were waiting for a tour guide who will bring them to Ifugao, when the motorcycle-riding hold up men arrived.

“They (foreigners) were outside their car so they were able to fight when the heist was declared, they ganged up on the suspects,” Tabian said in a phone interview.

“One of the muggers was wearing a helmet and cannot see his backside well, so he got struck in the head. Maybe he didn’t want to remove the helmet because he’s a former policeman,” Tabian said.

As the scuffle continued, Cacliong drew a gun and shot the leg of one of the Chinese nationals, whose companions quickly came to the rescue and snatched the firearm.

Members of the Bagabag Police eventually arrived and collared Cacliong and Dumageng. The Chinese national who got shot was brought to a hospital, but was allowed to leave after first aid as his leg was only grazed.

It was learned that Cacliong, a native of Ifugao, once served as the chief of police in a town in Isabela, and was dismissed in 2010 because of various cases.

“He (Cacliong) had many cases. When I was still the summary hearing officer of Region 2, he had several administrative and sexual harassment cases, where one of the victims was a fellow police personnel. When he was kicked out of the service, a murder charge also sprang up, he’s a real scalawag,” Tabian said.

Cacliong and Dumageng have already been charged with attempted robbery and frustrated homicide. Police are still verifying if the duo had also been involved in other incidents of robbery. (John Roson)

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