Police identify kidnappers of Italian in PH | Global News

Police identify kidnappers of Italian in PH

/ 03:16 PM October 10, 2015

Italian Rolando del Torchio. AP FILE PHOTO

Italian Rolando del Torchio. AP FILE PHOTO

DIPOLOG CITY, Philippines—Police said Saturday they have identified a local criminal gang as behind the abduction of an Italian restaurant owner and retired priest in the strife-torn southern Philippines.

Senior Superintendent Cleve Taboso said the gang snatched Rolando del Torchio, 56, in the sleepy city of Dipolog on Wednesday, in a swift raid that shocked the dinnertime crowd at his pizzeria.


Taboso, who is spokesman for the team trying to recover del Torchio, said they had identified the gang’s boss, known as “Commander Red Eye”, and four of his relatives based on closed-circuit TV footage of the abduction.


READ: Italian taken at gunpoint in Dipolog City | Army, police forces mount massive search for abducted Italian in Dipolog

The policeman said he did not believe the gang had taken him to the extremist stronghold of Jolo island where any rescue would be more difficult.

The footage shows armed men shoving their captive as well as several restaurant patrons out of the pizzeria’s door as they flee the scene.

He said Red Eye had been arrested for another abduction in 2014 but managed to post bail.

The group is still believed to be in the southern peninsula of Zamboanga despite earlier fears they had fled to Jolo island, the stronghold of the Muslim extremists Abu Sayyaf, who are blamed for the worst terror attacks in the Philippines, Taboso added.

Many smaller kidnapping groups have often taken their hostages to the thickly-forested island of Jolo, located about 400 kilometers (240 miles) from Dipolog, to hand them over to the Abu Sayyaf who ransom them off for huge sums.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TAGS: Abduction, Kidnapping, Philippines, Rolando del Torchio

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.