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Released IIT student recounts ordeal, 2 more remain with captors

ILIGAN CITY, June 9 -- Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology student who was one of the victims in Saturday night’s kidnapping met with the Office of Publication and Information (OPI) yesterday to recount his ordeal.

Juhari Gubat, 18, a General Education student said he was released together with three others on Monday by the still unidentified armed men who abducted him and five other companions on June 6, 2016.

Of the six kidnapped, only two remain with the kidnappers. Both are students of MSU-IIT identified as Cid Rick Jamias (5th Year BS Electronics and Communication) and Berzon Paeste (4th year AB History).

Gubat said that their kidnappers just released them Monday morning, and even gave them P200.00 as fare money.

He was released along with non-IIT students Kevin Limpin, Hannah Yurong, and Eloisa Lacson. The kidnappers, however, held on to Jamias and Paeste.

Gubat, Limpin, Yurong, and Lacson were with Jamias and Paeste in a white Toyota Revo driven by a certain “Moamar.” The vehicle had the plate number KGI 661 which is now believed to be fake or stolen as authorities allegedly traced this to belong to a Multicab vehicle in Cagayan de Oro City.

He also clarified that he only met “Moamar” on Saturday at around 4:00 p.m.

According to him that “Moamar” approached him and introduced himself as a cousin, and asked for his number. He described “Moamar” with curly hair, to be around 5’3” and in his ‘30s.

Later in the evening, “Moamar” called him on his cell phone while he was still in the dormitory with Paeste and Jamias asking to hang out. At the same time, he also got a call from Eloisa Lacson asking if they wanted to hang out at the Caltex Gas Station in Tibanga. Gubat, Paeste and Jamias then decided to let Moamar pick them up at the dormitory.

While they were at the Caltex Gas Station, Paeste decided to leave for the Bus Terminal so he could go to Maranding town in Lanao del Norte but Moamar offered to drive him. The rest went along in the vehicle.

While the students were on their way to Maranding, six armed men flagged down their vehicle along a dark stretch of road in Barangay Buru-un near Timoga Spring Pools.

“The men had ball caps on and were wearing their backpacks in front. They pointed .45 cal. pistols at us, and ordered us to open the doors,” Gubat recounted. The men boarded the vehicle and later blindfolded them, he said. When the blindfolds came off, Gubat said that he and his companions saw the name of Panga Elementary School. Panga is located in Munai, Lanao del Norte.

“They were very scary-looking, and they kept insisting that my companions and I were into drugs,” he said. Some of the armed men looked 18 to 19 years old to him.

After about two hours of being blindfolded, the group were made to get off the vehicle and to walk along a muddy, uphill place when they were separated. Gubat and the other three were brought to a house that was allegedly owned by the driver, alias Moamar. Each one was interviewed by the kidnappers who asked about their parents’ occupations. Gubat said Jamias and Paeste were brought to another place.

Yesterday afternoon, the OPI held a press conference at the MSU-IIT Boardroom and invited members of the local press and correspondents of national dailies through the local Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

MSU-IIT Security Chief Eduardito “Ditto” Maruhom briefed the media about recent developments and the combined efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 2nd Mechanized Brigade forces, Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in rescuing the MSU-IIT students Jamias and Paeste still held captive by kidnappers.

Chancellor Dr. Sukarno D. Tanggol expressed anew his concern over the safety of the two students and said “we should do more and with concerted effort put an end to criminality. Our problems are gargantuan,” he said.

He likewise told the media that the Institute’s security measures on campus have further been tightened.

The Institute’s chief security officer, Eduardito “Ditto” Maruhom is closely monitoring the situation and said he is hopeful that the remaining captives, Jamias and Paeste will be released soon by the kidnappers.

Chancellor Tanggol reiterated that campus security is stringent and despite the fact that the kidnapping happened off campus, he still wants them, as MSU-IIT students to be returned unharmed. (OPI MSU-IIT/PIA-10 LDN)


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