ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Government army from the 14th Special Forces Company are in action to rescue 2 teachers kidnapped by armed men in Lantawan, Basilan, Wednesday night.
The kidnapped teachers, Frederick Banot and Cherden Masong, are staff of the Charity Children Foundation who were both teaching day care pupils.
The teachers were said to have been kidnapped around 8pm Wednesday before they were about to board a boat at the Pangasaan wharf in Barangay Taisan, Lantawan.
According to Capt. Jefferson Somera, spokesman of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, Banot and Mason were transported southward through a speed boat.
Meanwhile, Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad expressed his sadness on the incident.
“I am so sad with what happened to the two poor NGO (nongovernment organization) workers whose main goal is to help uplift the dignity of the Badjaos,” the bishop said.
“I am frustrated to think that we work hard in partnership with men and women in uniform so that Basilan may be liberated from lawless elements,” Bishop Jumoad added.
The military is now coordinationg with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and with the local government to determine the suspect’s identity.
On the other hand, the motive behind the kidnapping is yet to be determined.
Hanna Trani Bartolome
ABCom, Leyten Normal University