Photos of Zambo mayor's abductors released
MANILA, Philippines – Authorities in Zamboanga del Norte released on Monday, April 9, computer-generated photos of 4 suspects in the April 2 abduction of Salug town mayor Jeffrey Lim, based on testimonies given by eyewitnesses to the police.
“We are releasing these photos in the hope that the public can help us identify them and even help us locate their whereabouts by sharing information to us,” Police Supt Kenneth Mission, spokesman of Task Force Jeffrey which was formed to resolve the crisis, told Rappler.
Exactly a week since Lim was seized by a group of armed men in the town's bus terminal, the Task Force has yet to pinpoint the exact location where the mayor could have been brought by his abductors.
Units under the provincial police and two Army brigades have searched in Zamboanga del Norte towns such as Liloy, Labason, Kalawit Gutalac and parts of the so-called Triple SB area (Sirawai, Sibuco, Siocon and Baliguian towns).
Troops from the Army's Special Forces Battalion and the Navy have also reportedly set up naval blockades in the Zamboanga Sibugay area.
The operations have so far yielded negative results, according to Mission. He added that they are also checking the possibility that the abductors have moved to other areas of the region, particularly in Basilan, where a number of kidnapping victims from the mainland peninsula are also being held.
“The abductors have not made contact with anyone, not even to his family, so it is unclear up of this time what they actually want,” Mission said.
During last week's meeting, the province's crisis management committee has listed a number of possible motives behind Lim's abduction, among them the involvement of kidnap-for-ransom groups and his family's business rivals.
“We have looked into the mayor's financial capabilities, and apparently, he is living modestly,” Mission said. “As to possible political motives, we are not also totally discounting that.”
At least 4 witnesses have come forward to talk to investigators and have helped the regional police crime laboratory to produce the computerized facial composite (CFC) or images of the suspected abductors.
Mission said Task Force Jeffrey is releasing these computer-generated photos of the suspects, hoping the public will recognize the faces and come forward. Anyone with information is asked to call up or send a message to the task force's hotline numbers: 0947-935-6497 and 0912-601-0455. The police gave assurances all calls with be kept confidential.
“There is a great sense of need to resolve this crisis as soon as possible, since the mayor's constituents are deeply affected by his abduction,” said Mission. - Rappler.com