Schoolgirls targeted for kidnapping by syndicate gang

Three attempted kidnapping incidents of students were reported to have occurred in just a month, according to a barangay official.

Barangay San Francisco chairman Manong Catalon said they suspect that a big-time syndicate is behind the series of attempted kidnapping.

"Ang nagiging expectation po namin ay siguro baka ibebenta yung mga laman loob," Catalon said in an exclusive report on GMA News' Unang Balita on Tuesday.

One of the abducted students is a 13-year-old girl identified as "Anna," who said that it was around 1 p.m. on January 19 when she noticed that a black van was following her while she was walking along San Francisco Bridge in Southwoods.

Anna said the van suddenly stopped beside her, afterwhich a knife-wielding man allegedly forced her into the vehicle. She said that she tried to escape the kidnappers by firmly holding on the bridge and biting the hand of one of her abductors. Anna claimed the kidnapper slapped her face until she was brought inside the vehicle.

"Five po sila...apat pong babae, 'yung isa po pugot yung ulo, tapos yung tatlo po may mga laslas po sila kahit saang bahagi ng katawan tapos may isa pong batang lalaki, bata pa po 'yon, nandoon po siya sa may dulong dulo," Anna said.

Anna continued to recount the incident, saying that she managed to escape her captors by jumping out of the vehicle. She sustained injuries on her hip and feet as she rolled down a steep highway.

Another attempted kidnapping incident also occurred on January 18, just a day before Anna's case. "Jane," a 10-year-old student was also nearly abducted in front of San Francisco Elementary School.

"Napansin ko na po yung lalaki, patingin-tingin po sa akin tapos yung malapit na po ako sa lalaki bigla pong hinawakan ako sa braso sabi niya daw po iuuwi daw niya ako sa bahay namin," Jane said.

Fifteen-year-old "Ella" was also nearly abducted on January 15 when an unidentified man blocked her way while she was about to go to school.

"Sabi noong lalaki na tumulong sa akin, kung hindi mo siya bibitwan, sasabihin kita sa barangay, tapos po hindi niya agad ako binitawan, tiningnan niya lang muna ng masama yung lalaking tumulong sa akin tapos po binitawan niya na ako at sumakay na po siya ng van," Ella said.

Parents, meanwhile, have expressed anxiousness due to the series of attempted kidnapping incidents.

"Parang natutuliro po ako, hindi ko po malaman kung paano na kung makuha yung anak ko," Jane's father said.

Meanwhile, the grandmother of Anna said: "Nung nakita ko na po ito okay na, 'yun nga may pilay [sa] paa niya tsaka punit-punit po damit niya, sa likod punit-punit po, dinala sa barangay ng mga teacher."

Authorities of the San Francisco Elementary School advised its students to avoid walking along narrow streets and avoid places where no one can see them. It also said that it is advisable for the parents to accompany their children to and from the schools.

The local barangay, for its part, have installed closed-circuit television cameras along narrow streets to avoid a similar incident. They have also coordinated with the Biñan police for the conduct of the investigation.

"Humihingi kami ng tulong sa mga mamamayan ng Biñan na sana ay patuloy nilang suportahan ang PNP (Philippine National Police) at kung may insidente na nangyayaring ganun ay makipagtulungan po sila sa amin," Senior Police Officer 2 Liza Lorena said.

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