Man takes kid hostage in Masbate-bound bus

Rhadyz B. Barcia

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Man takes kid hostage in Masbate-bound bus
(UPDATED) A man takes a 2-year-old boy hostage for 8 hours in a bus

ALBAY, Philippines (UPDATED) – A 2-year-old boy was taken hostage by a man for 8 hours inside a Masbate-bound bus in Oas, Albay on Monday, September 5.

A man identified as Dakila Balanon took a 2-year-old child hostage inside a Raymond Bus bound for Milagros, Masbate from Manila, while it was traversing the Pan-Philippine Highway in Ilaor Norte, Oas, Albay.

The suspect, armed with a knife, grabbed the boy from his mother, identified as Marlyn Malababa, and ordered passengers to leave the bus at around 1 am.

Malababa said Balanon grabbed her son without any reason and warned her not to go near the child or he would harm him.

The suspect ordered the bus driver, identified as Graciano Mendoza from Quezon province, to drive the bus back to Manila.

A few minutes later, however, Balanon demanded to talk to media in front of a camera. But he changed his mind again, and demanded a gun and wanted to speak to Visayan-speaking media practitioners.

Former police chief Leopoldo Zaragoza, now a town councilor of Oas, was able to talk to the hostage-taker. The police, led by Chief Superintendent Melvin Buenafe, also negotiated with the suspect.

Later on, two police officials – Oas police chief Senior Inspector Domingo Tapel and Albay provincial director Superintendent Antonino Cirujales – got into the bus and rescued the kid from Balanon.

The child suffered wounds on various parts of his body, and was rushed to a hospital in Oas.

The suspect is now in police custody. –

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