Troops rescue abducted teacher in Jolo


ZAMBOANGA CITY — Joint police and military personnel successfully rescued a teacher who was abducted in downtown Jolo, Sulu last month.

Col. Pablo Labra, Sulu police director, said the victim, Rosina Singua, was rescued around 6:05 a.m. Wednesday inside Room 2 of ANR Hotel, Barangay Walled City, in the capital town of Jolo.

Labra said the rescue of Singua, 58, came almost simultaneously with the arrest of Nurina Jura, 22, who received the ransom money around 5:45 a.m. from the victim’s daughter, Soraya Bantongan, at the port of Jolo.

Labra said Jura, after receiving the ransom, instructed Bantongan to proceed to Room 2 of ANR Hotel, where her mother was kept.

He said Singua was safely rescued by police and military operatives while Jura was arrested before she could board a passenger jeep to the town of Indanan.

Maj. Arvin John Encinas, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, said Singua, who was in a state of shock, was rushed to Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital for treatment and eventual debriefing.

Encinas said Singua will be airlifted anytime to this city from Jolo, Sulu.

Meanwhile, Labra said a companion of Jura, identified as Nurjia Asakil, was arrested in a follow-up operation around 6:45 a.m. also on Wednesday.

He said Asakil was the one who claimed the initial ransom payment, the amount of which was undisclosed, which was wired on October 13 through a money courier service.

It was reported earlier that the unknown kidnappers demanded PHP10 million in exchange for the freedom of Singua but the amount was later reduced to PHP2 million.

It was also reported that the ransom was further lowered to PHP200,000 after the initial payment was made by the victim’s family.

Singua is a teacher at the Culianan Learning Center, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Singua left home aboard a taxicab on Sept. 27, together with her woman friend, a certain “Ems,” to attend a wedding in Dipolog City.

However, Sherwin, Singua’s son, received a cellphone call from his mother around 9:23 p.m. of September 28 “with the report that she was at an unknown place in Jolo, Sulu.”

Singua told her son that she was abducted by unidentified persons in front of the Jolo Church after attending mass. (PNA)