Architect, trader's son, 2 others abducted in Maguindanao
MAGUINDANAO, Philippines – Armed men seized an architect, a son of a wealthy trader, and two others in Maguindanao, authorities said Saturday, April 4.
The incident took place on March 29, but was only reported to police Friday, April 3.
Police Senior Superintendent Rolen Balguin, Cotabato City police commander, confirmed the incident in a phone interview.
He identified the victims as Jason Cababayao, son of the owner of J Trade Concrete Products and Construction Supply in General Santos City; architect Raulito Suyom Jr; Francis Wong; and Rho Steven.
Balguin said the police are investigating the incident to determine the identities of the perpetrators.
The victims were headed to Cotabato City on board a white Mitsubishi Strada pickup when they were stopped by armed men along the national highway in Shariff Aguak town in Maguindanao, authorities said.
The victims had an online business transaction with a client and reportedly agreed to meet somewhere in Maguindanao. They have not been heard from since their disappearance.
No group has come forward to claim responsibility for the abduction.
Past abduction incidents in the area had been pinned on the Pentagon Group, responsible for at least 50 kidnapping cases in Mindanao, including that of Italian priest Fr Giuseppe Pierantoni in 2001 in Dimataling, Zamboanga del Sur.
That same year, the group kidnapped 5 Chinese engineers working on a government irrigation project in North Cotabato and their Filipino guide. – Jeoffrey Maitem/Rappler.com