3 kids held hostage in Cebu (7:13 p.m.)
CEBU CITY -- Three children, whose ages are three, five, and 10, were held hostage Tuesday in Barangay Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City, the police said.
Initial investigation disclosed that the mother of the victims borrowed P30,000 from the suspect's sibling. The amount has not been paid until now, reaching it to P115,000.
Acting Lapu-Lapu City Police Director Mariano Natuel Jr. said in an interview with ABS-CBN TV Patrol Central Visayas that the suspect went to the victims' house to collect the payment.
The mother of the hostages, a certain Mimi, however, refused to pay the debt, "forcing the suspect to held captive the children and release them only after Mimi pays."
The hostage crisis took an hour and a half until the suspect surrendered and released the victims.
Natuel said they were able to negotiate with the suspect to peacefully surrender and release the children.
"We told the suspect that no charges will be filed against him if he will release the kids and surrender to the police," he said.
Natuel said they also asked the suspect to hand over the knife and rope that were used in the hostage taking.
The three victims are now under the care of the Lapu-Lapu police, while the mother and suspect, believed to have a relationship, are now in police custody for questioning.
THE Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) launched a manhunt against a foreigner accused of taking five minors inside a gray Starex van along Magallanes St., Barangay Ermita, Cebu City around 4 a.m. yesterday.
The girls, though, were dropped off at Plaza Independencia after one of them cried.
They were taken to the Carbon Police Station where they gave their statements.
Police already have the plate number of the van, but requested the media not to disclose it yet, pending the operation.
CCPO Director Patrocinio Comendador Jr. said they have coordinated with the Land Transportation Office to help trace the van's owner.
According to information gathered by Carbon Police Station Chief Renero Agustin, the girls were on Magallanes St. gathering leftover vegetables and spices in the area when the van arrived.
The foreigner, described as a Caucasian, reportedly called them and asked them to go with him.
The girls agreed and boarded the van, allegedly after the foreigner enticed them with P400 each.
While in transit, the girls were told they would work at his house in Iloilo.
The foreigner showed them a map and pointed out where he lives. One of the five girls, however, cried, prompting him to drop them off.
Before the girls got off the van, the foreigner allegedly touched the arms and legs of two of the girls.
The girls reportedly resisted, which irked the foreigner who allegedly pulled out something from his waistband. Thinking that it was a weapon, the girls quickly got off and ran. (JTG)