Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kidnap for Ransom for Third Quarter of 2011, Part IX: Allison Bondoc, Release of Ambon Ahamad Blas and Perlita Bagay

On Sunday morning, August 21st, 2011, 21 year old live in maid Marycris Candalesa was asleep in her room in the servant quarters of the Bondoc Family home in Cagayan del Oro City's Barangay Kauswagan. At 515AM that morning her repose was broken by the loud ringing of her cellphone on the table next to her bed. Tiredly reaching for the phone, her coworker and room mate saw Marycris' expression change in an instant from exhausted to livid. Hearing the young lady dare a male voice to do it but leave her out of it.

Moments later Marycris left their room and stepped out into the cool morning air. Seeing shadows on the inner wall of the compound she quickly screamed to warn her boss Allison Bondoc of the imminent danger. As Marycris was looking at Ms.Bondoc one of four young men who had just scaled the 3 meter high wall separating the palatial home on the city's Dandelion Street from the hustle and bustle of city life, raised a 45 caliber pistol and squeezed off a single round. Marycris dropped, the bullet entering through the back of her skull and exiting through her forehead having pierced her brain, killing her instantly. She had spent less than 4 weeks at her position and would be returning to her hometown of Jasaan in that same province of Misamis Oriental in a wooden coffin.

Needless to say, having saved her new employer Allison Bondoc from a certain kidnapping her short time working there will always be respectfully remembered by the entire Bondoc family. Still, the question remains, the phone call was timed exactly to co-incide with the infiltration of the Bondoc compound. And what of the spat Marycris had had after answering her cellphone? The obvious assumption is that the maid, as is so often the case on Mindanao, was a plant, tasked with casing the Bondoc family and its home for a KFR, or Kidnap for Ransom group. Did she change her mind about helping the kidnappers, albeit a tad bit too late, or is it just a strane co-incidence? We will never know at this point.

Post Script: On Wednesday, August 31st Cagayan del Oro City's City Councilor Juan Sia put forth a Motion that Marycris be officially recognised for her "good deed" and that her family be given financial assistance to tide them over through this difficult time.

On a much more cheerful note, two victims recently kidnapped on Jolo Island in Sulu Province have just been released, Sunday, August 28th, 2011. 60 year old Ambon Ahamad Blas and 25 year old Perlita Bagay had been waylaid on August 21st, 2011 while riding tandem on a single motorcycle after a day spent selling used clothing in the municipality of Patikul. As the motorcycle was traversing Barangay Latih a local streetgang calling itself the "Virgin Boys" blocked their path and captured them. The game plan had been to sell the pair to ASG, or the Abu Sayyaf Group via local factional leader sub-Kumander Basaram Arok.

Arok, wanted for the KFR and eventual decapitation of public school principal Roger Canizares in late 2009 is still a power to reckon with in Patikul's upland barangays. Arok however thought the pickings not worth the time and effort, after all, used clothing sellers do not bring lucrative ransoms. With Arok taking a pass on the pair of victims the Virgin Boys leaders were then forced to handle the ransoming and ended up scoring a quick P100,000 ($1,850) for just a couple of days sweat. Of course the downside is that having scored 4 months wages for a week's work will only serve to inspire the group to take a more active role in the KFR Industry.

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