Cops nab suspect in kidnapping of Fil-Am farmer in Zamboanga

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 28 2020 01:13 PM

Rescued Filipino-American Rex Triplitt with the military. Photo courtesy: AFP Western Mindanao Command

MANILA— Police on Tuesday arrested a suspect tagged in the kidnapping of a Filipino-American farmer in Sirawai town, Zamboanga del Norte last month.

In a report made public Wednesday, Police Brig. Gen. Jonel Estomo, director of the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG), identified the suspect as Anerson Tungayao, also a resident of Sirawai.

Tungayao was allegedly involved in the kidnapping of Rex Triplitt, 64, last September 16. Authorities, with the help of peace advocates from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Moro National Liberation Front, rescued the victim on September 30.

Estomo said local authorities apprehended Tungayao along the shoreline of Barangay Arena Blanco in Zamboanga City at 5:30 p.m. The suspect was reportedly carrying an M16 assault rifle at the time of his arrest.

Another suspect, identified as Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Injam Yadah, was able to elude arrest, police said.

Prior to Tungayao's arrest, his group was supposedly set to conduct another kidnapping when police intervened and foiled their plan, Estomo said.