Suspect in German’s abduction nabbed
KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/6 June) — One of the suspects in the
abduction of German national Thomas Wallraf and three Filipinos last
week was arrested Tuesday by joint forces of Pikit police, Cotabato
Rapid Response Group (CRRG), and intelligence operatives of the North
Cotabato provincial police force.
Sr. Insp. Elias Dandan, Pikit police chief, identified the arrested
suspect as Edward Cocal. He was sighted by police assets while eating
at the Hill Park Restaurant in Barangay Poblacion in Midsayap North
Cotabato around 12 o’ clock pm.Dandan said Cocal did not resist arrest but instead voluntarily gave
himself up to the apprehending authorities. “Maybe he sensed that
police authorities were already surrounding the place and for that
reason he voluntarily surrendered to us,” said the police chief.
Kidnapped along with Wallraf were his Filipina wife Sharon Mae
Jackson, friend Consuelo San Juan and driver Diego Daniel Jr. They
were abducted at Pikit in North Cotabato in the morning of May 31 but
was released later in the afternoon when the abductors felt the
pressure of the military, police and even the Moro Islamic Liberation
Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) working
together for the victims’ release.
Dandan said that Cocal was one of the couple’s contacts in their
business, which involves buying and selling of some kind of supposed
precious metals. The police chief said that Cocal was fetched by
Wallraf’s group in Kabacan town before going to Pikit. Wallraf,
however, mentioned no such story when interviewed by MindaNews upon
his release, saying their vehicle was flagged down by five armed men
at Barangay Bantulawan in Pikit.
Dandan said Cocal may be connected to the group of Datukan Samad, yet
another suspect in the kidnapping.
Like Cocal, Samad is also facing kidnapping and carnapping cases filed
by the police. Eight others are also charged in connection with the
Wallraf kidnapping, Dandan said.
The complaints against the suspects were already filed on Tuesday
before prosecutor Jose Agerico de Guzman.
Cocal is now detained at the cell of the North Cotabato PNP at
Barangay Amas here and scheduled to undergo inquest procedure in
court. (Williamor A. Magbanua / MindaNews)