Abducted Filipina in Sabah identified

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Friday, April 4, 2014

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday identified the abducted Filipina in Sabah, Malaysia as Marcelita M. Dayawan, 40, a staff member at the Singamata Resort.

The identification of the Filipina victim was made after Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya dispatched an Embassy official to Sabah, and the official conferred Friday morning with local police authorities in Semporna.

"Embassy officials are in touch with Ms. Dayawan's relatives and are extending consular assistance," DFA spokesman Charles Jose.

Philippine and Malaysian authorities are closely and actively working together towards the speedy resolution of the case, he said.

"We continue to hope and pray for the immediate resolution of this incident and the safe return of the victims to their families," he added.

Meanwhile, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) could not find any record of deployment of the Filipina kidnap victim.

"Initial verification shows that her name doesn't appear in our records," said OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon.

The labor official, still, did not discount the possibility of Dayawan eventually being found to be an OWWA member.

But regardless if she is a member or not, Dimzon said OWWA is prepared to offer assistance to her and her family.

"We have yet to trace her family, but once they surface and we have established contact with them, we could provide them with stress debriefing," said Dimzon.

Dayawan, along with Chinese tourist Gao Hua Yun, was seized by armed men at the Singamata Resort near Semporna, Sabah Wednesday night.

In a media conference, local police of Sabah said they believe that the speedboat carrying the victims headed towards the Philippine waters and that it coordinated with someone within the resort before the incident.

Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Captain Rowena Muyuela, in a text message, said security forces are checking the areas of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (BaSulTa) where the victims were possibly brought.

"Naval Task Force 62 is now conducting extensive search and naval blockade to suspected sea crafts while other Western Mindanao Command units in BaSulTa area have been alerted since yesterday," she said. (SDR/HDT/Third Anne Peralta/Sunnex)

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