Kidnap case (almost) solved

AS THE name of Abu Sayyaf commander Furuji Indama hits the papers again for his involvement in the recent spate of kidnappings and murders in Basilan, particularly in the death of a Scout Ranger and the wounding of three others in Sumisip municipality on March 15, I was reminded of the unfinished business of the family of one of his kidnapped victims.

In December 16, 2010, Indama and his group took hostage Filipino-Chinese businessman Largio delos Santos, number 3 in the terrorist and kidnap-for-ransom group’s “kidnap list,” and initially demanded a ransom of P20 million.

Indama was described by the relatives of Delos Santos, who were present when the latter was seized in Isabela City, as handsome and neat, an unlikely description of a leader of a terrorist and KFR group whose actions contradict his clean-cut, boyish looks (he is said to be a frequent visitor of a famous dermatology clinic in Manila).

In the scuffle that ensued when only the female relatives of Delos Santos were present, struggling with all their might (and bare hands) to stop the kidnappers from snatching him, Furuji Indama mercilessly slammed the butt of his M-16 rifle on the face of Delos Santos’s daughter-in-law.

A scar on the forehead of the poor lass is a reminder of such ruthlessness.

Last night I was talking to Delos Santos’s daughter-in-law and learned that she has gained another fifteen stitches on her forehead after a vehicular accident on Monday.

This bold and daring woman has since the kidnapping incident become a beacon of light of the Delos Santos family, relentlessly pursuing a closure of the case of her father-in-law after receiving reports that the latter died for unknown reasons in the hands of his captors two months after he was kidnapped.

In January this year, she and her husband came to Manila bringing along a jaw of a man, supposedly that of victim Delos Santos, for DNA testing.

Since the NBI does not have the equipment to do bone scanning, the daughter-in-law and her husband proceeded to Camp Crame only to be informed that its DNA facility will resume operations in June when its new building shall have been fully constructed.

In the ensuing trip to the National Science Research Institute (NSRI) on the same day, they were informed that DNA analysis would initially cost P250,000.

If they could negotiate with the kidnappers (or the negotiators) for a large part of the remains to be given to them, NSRI head Dr. Maria Corazon de Ungria said it would be easier and less expensive to do forensics instead.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, the Delos Santos couple brought what negotiators claim as the remains of the kidnap victim and renowned forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun has started working on the jigsaw puzzle.

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