Van used in kidnapping of Italian traced to Taguig resident
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Authorities on Friday said they had traced the registration of the van used by the kidnappers of Italian Rolando del Torchio to a resident of Taguig in Metro Manila.
However, Supt. Rockie Cabrera Laungayan, head of the Incident Management Task Group of the Zamboanga del Norte police, said they have yet to determine how the van got into the hands of the kidnappers, considering that it was registered in the National Capital Region.
The van, with license plate TMY490 and abandoned by the suspects after snatching Del Torchio –a native of Angera in Northern Italy–in Dipolog City on Wednesday evening, was found to have been registered to an Amante Bagain Sagario, a resident of L6 BB Katipunan village in Taguig.
An inquiry on license plate TMY490 sent by the Inquirer to the LTO text service yielded the following details: “Plate No: TMY490/Make: Mitsubishi/Model:L-300/Year:1994/Color:Silver Metallic/Registered last 10/28/2014, has no LTO apprehension, has no LTO alarm.”
Laungayan said they were still in the process of determining the circumstances behind the van’s presence in Dipolog City.
But he said they have already identified two of the suspects, through the footage taken by the CCTV inside Del Torchio’s pizzeria.
“The CCTV inside Ur Choice Bistro Cafe showed 10 male suspects forcibly abducting Del Torchio. Of the 10, only two had been identified,” Laungayan said.
He named the suspects as Julmin Muloc and Sihra Muloc, who was also known as Red Eye. It was not immediately known how the two were related.
Lorenzo Aseniero, spokesperson of the Zamboanga del Norte Crisis Management Committee (CMC), said the kidnappers might still have not gotten out of the province because of the lack of communication from them.
“Until now there is no communication established and this is a good sign. It can mean that the captors with their victim are still on the run, they can only establish a call once they are settled in some hiding place,” Aseniero said.
He said as of Friday, the CMC saw no other motive for Del Torchio’s kidnapping aside from ransom.
“But we cannot also discount other possibilities,” Aseniero said.
Del Torchio had settled in Dipolog after retiring from the priesthood. He was a missionary under the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions.
As this developed, Aseniero admitted that a number of foreigners with businesses in Dipolog have asked for security details.
He did not say how many foreigners currently live in Dipolog City.
“We have provided them security based on the request they submitted to the Crisis Management Committee, even our local investors, businessmen, and we are reviewing the internal security protocol following the obvious security lapses that took place Wednesday night,” Aseniero said.
Dipolog City Mayor Evelyn Uy said Del Torchio’s kidnapping was a “sad moment for all of us.”
Uy said security forces continue to search for the kidnapped Italian, a former missionary living in the city for the past 25 years already.
A source said the search was focused in the so-called “Triple SB,” or the areas of Sibuco, Sirawai, Siocon and Baliguian towns.
“We have made a lot of headway in our efforts to make Dipolog safe and secure for the residents and visitors and we cannot let this single isolated incident bring us down” Uy said. Julie Alipala with a report from Richel Umel, Inquirer Mindanao/CDG
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