MANILA — The Eastern Mindanao Command on Sunday announced that it is looking into reports that the six inspectors of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), abducted Friday afternoon by still unidentified men, could have been victims of mistaken identity.
Capt. Alberto Caber, Eastern Mindanao Command spokesperson, said that this is possible as the DENR inspectors were operating a drone to aid them in their validation work in Barangay New Leyte, Maco town, Compostela Valley when snatched by the suspects 2 p.m. Friday.
The validation work is done in aid of the government’s National Greening Program, on which the above-mentioned area, is a part.
“Its likely that the DENR personnel were thought to be military personnel as they were operating a drone at the time of their abduction. In fact, the motorcycle-riding suspects told witnesses not to worry, as they will only determine the exact identities of the six,” Caber stressed.
The Eastern Mindanao Command spokesperson said that the suspects immediately took the victims cellphones and the remote control for the drone.
He added that a platoon from their 1001st Infantry Brigade is now busy conducting pursuit and tracking operations.
Caber said that the search is focused on the Maco town environs as of this posting.
The survey inspectors were identified as Kendrik Wong; Nico Lasaca; Chris Favila, Matthew Cua, Jonas Loredo and Tim Sabina.