PRESS RELEASE Office of Publication & Information (OPI) MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology, Iligan City Tel: (063) 2228769; Fax: (063) 2214056
Two MSU-IIT students who were abducted Saturday night (June 4, 2016) remain in captivity while their four companions, according to unverified reports, were allegedly released at dawn Monday, June 6.
Authorities identified the remaining students as Berzon Paeste (4th year AB History) from Zamboanga del Sur and Cid Rick Jamias (5th year BS Electronics and Communication) from Tacurong City.
Those allegedly released (and currently in hiding) were identified as Juhary Gubat, 1st year General Education student; Hannah Yurong (a former IIT student who dropped out); Kevin Limpin and Eloisa Lacson, non-IIT students.
Paeste and Jamias were allegedly hanging out with Gubat, Limpin, Yurong, and Lacson at the Caltex Gas Station in Tibanga, this city on the evening of June 4, 2016.
Upon learning of the alleged disappearance and possible abduction of the group, the MSU-IIT Office of Publication & Information (OPI) alerted the MSU-IIT Security Chief Eduardito “Ditto” Maruhom and Atty. Alex Cabornay, Head Agent of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Regional Office in Cagayan de Oro City, both members of the Iligan City Citizens Crime Watch. In turn, Maruhom alerted the AFP 2nd Mechanized Brigade Intelligence Group, the PNP and the NBI Iligan office about the alleged disappearance of the students.
In Maruhom’s investigation, the group of students left the Caltex Gas Station premises late Saturday evening in a white vehicle with plate no. KGJ 661. The vehicle was allegedly driven by a man described only as the cousin of Gubat. The group drove westward, towards the next town (Linamon, Lanao del Norte) but reportedly stopped at a gas station where the driver allegedly got off to make a call. A few minutes after they continued on the road, and upon reaching Linamon, their vehicle was stopped by armed men.
The students were said to have been blindfolded and brought to an unknown, uphill and muddy area where they were separately interviewed about their parents’ jobs. Later, on Monday dawn, unverified reports said four were released: Gubat, Limpin, Yurong, and Lacson. All are said to be in hiding for fear of their lives.
The NBI and PNP and the AFP are now following various leads for the safe return of the MSU-IIT students. Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol for his part said the matter is still being investigated and the MSU-IIT is “doing its best for the safety of the kids.”
Official Release by the MSU-IIT Office of Publication & Information (OPI)
A Concerned Citizens’ group spearheaded by the Office of the Chancellor (OC) met yesterday, June 30, 2015 at the Institute Boardroom to discuss ways to help solve the alarming peace and order situation in Iligan City.
The spate of kidnappings of students and kidnappings and rape of young women in the recent months that included MSU-IIT students and alumni, have alarmed many Iliganons, and prompted Institute officials to initiate a meeting with concerned government agencies to execute plans to help solve these problems.
Co-conveners of the meeting, Mr. Eduardito C. Maruhom, Liaison for Industry and Protocol Officer and Dr. Christine Godinez Ortega, Acting Director of the Office of Publication and Information (OPI) believed that the citizens of Iligan must act now and prevent future kidnappings and rape of young women in Iligan.
Among those who attended the meeting to give situation reports on what has been done to solve these recent cases of kidnappings and rape, and to answer questions were: Atty. Alex Caburnay, Chief, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Iligan; Representatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Iligan; Representatives of the 2nd Mechanized Brigade of the Philippine Army based in Maria Cristina, Iligan City; Heads of the Faculty Union, the Academic Non-Teaching Staff (ANTEU); Association of MSU-IIT Muslim Employees, Inc. (AMEI); the Philippine Information Agency (PIA); Jaycees-Iligan (JCI); Chief of the MSU-IIT Security Office; Director of Student Affairs (DSA); Alumni Affairs Office; the KASAMA–Student Government of MSU-IIT; and, the Institute for Peace and Development of Mindanao (IPDM).
Various groups were assigned to come up with plans and strategies for concrete results towards a possible solution to the problems of peace and order in Iligan to be tackled during the next meeting. The various groups have also been assigned to survey unlighted places or those places that do not have police visibility in Iligan, assess the CCTVs distributed around the city, check hotels and drive inns, etc.
As an initial step, the MSU-IIT OPI is publishing telephone numbers from the PNP and the anti-kidnapping tips from what the Office of the Brigade Commander, 2nd Mechanized Brigade, PA presented. This will be modified soon by the group in charge of Information Dissemination:
Appoint a security officer within the family to keep tabs on where each member is.
Screen and choose house help and office workers
Instruct house help and office staff not to volunteer information which could compromise one’s safety
Avoid a conspicuous and luxurious lifestyle.
Make friends with neighbors
Avoid payroll transport.
Secure one’s home. Never open doors or gates to strangers and instruct helpers not to do so.
Keep emergency numbers on speed dial. Memorize emergency numbers (see below).
Beware of strangers trying to befriend house help.
Avoid personal ads, especially on social media, such as “here at so and so restaurant with so and so friends”.