Monday, July 23, 2012

Sulu microfinance worker seized for marriage - cops

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Armed men who snatched an employee of a microfinance institution in Sulu have contacted her family and offered to pay for her dowry, authorities said yesterday. Director Manuel Barcena, chief of Directorate for Integrated Police Operation (DIPO) Western Mindanao, said this proves that the kidnapping of Rania Mohammad Suaso, 25, a staff member of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), a microfinance institution based in Jolo, was not for ransom. “It was a case of (kidnapping) for marriage,” Barcena said, citing reports from Senior Superintendent Antonio Freyra, Sulu police director. Suaso, a resident of Martires, Barangay Bangkay in Patikul town, Sulu, was seized by three armed men while on her way to her office. Freyra said the kidnappers have already contacted Suaso’s elders and vowed to pay for her dowry, a Muslim marriage tradition. It was not immediately known if Suaso’s parents have acceded to the arrangement. Police and the military are still exerting efforts to secure the freedom of two Chinese traders seized in Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay and the mayor of Salug town in Zamboanga del Norte. - By Roel Pareño