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Nation

American nationals in Palawan abduction now in police custody

- Non Alquitran, Ed Amoroso -

MANILA, Philippines - The two American nationals decided to be in police custody as the Navy official tagged as the mastermind in their alleged attempted abduction in Palawan Friday remained scot-free.

Chief Superintendent Luisito Palmera, Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan (Mimaropa) police director said Marylee Moore, 66, and Cynthia Castro-Kramer, both from Fort Collins, Colorado, USA, requested that they remain in the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Palawan for their safety.

“The two victims requested for security until such time a lawyer and officials from the US embassy could provide them the necessary security assistance,” said Palmera, noting that Moore and Kramer fear for their safety as long as the mastermind in their attempted abduction, Navy commander Rodrigo Jaca remains at large.

The Mimaropa police director hinted that their province-wide manhunt against Jaca is continuing as several raids on his suspected safehouses in Palawan yielded negative results.

“We strongly believe that Jaca is still in the island province. We are coordinating with his mother unit in Sangley point to speed up his arrest so he could answer his crime in court,” said Palmera.

Initial investigation showed that Moore and Jaca, who was formerly assigned at the headquarters of the Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Palawan, are known to each other for at least three years.

Kramer has been taking care of Moore, a handicapped diabetic for about seven years, police said.

The duo was vacationing in the province when the abduction incident happened, said Palmera.

Moore and Kramer were on their way home to 55 Burgos St., Barangay Masikap, Puerto Princesa City when the white Elf-type van (GRJ 407) was blocked by a green Delica van (RBK 537) near a basketball court in Barangay Tagumpay at about 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Jaca, who was wearing a black jacket and sporting a wig, rushed out of the Delica and at gunpoint threatened to kill Kramer by squeezing the trigger of a handgun which misfired.

At this juncture, Kramer managed to escape.

Jaca reportedly took Kramer’s black bag containing a cellular phone worth P15,000, credit card, driver’s license, passport, plane tickets, P20,000 cash, important documents and assorted jewelry amounting to P100,000 before fleeing toward Puerto Princesa City.

Responding policemen erected checkpoints until they were able to flag down the Delica vehicle driven by Rommel Frias, 39, at Junction 2, Malvar St., Barangay San Miguel at about 8:30 p.m. and recovered Moore, who was in her wheelchair.

Frias gave himself up peacefully.

Chief Inspector Danilo Mendoza, head of the CIDG field unit in Palawan filed kidnapping charges against Jaca and Frias before the prosecutor’s office in Puerto Princesa.

BARANGAY MASIKAP

BARANGAY SAN MIGUEL

BARANGAY TAGUMPAY

BURGOS ST.

DELICA

JACA

KRAMER

MOORE AND KRAMER

PALAWAN

PALMERA

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY

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