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Armed men take bus passengers hostage
Armed men took hostage 13 female passengers of an interprovincial bus today (Tuesday) in what authorities believed was meant to cover their retreat away from a military checkpoint in Misamis Occidental.
Negotiations resume for release of 13 Philippine bus hostages held by suspected rebels
Negotiations for the release of 13 bus passengers held by suspected communist rebels in the southern Philippines entered a second day Wednesday, after the hijackers demanded an escape vehicle driven by a Roman Catholic bishop, authorities said.
One of the three gunmen told a local radio station they were demanding that authorities provide a car driven by Bishop Emmanuel Cabajar, who joined the all-night negotiations to free the women passengers from the bus.
During a standoff, police and local government officials agreed to allow the gunmen, armed with four grenades, one Uzzi machine-gun and four pistols, to drive away in the bus after they released some of the original 20 hostages "as a sign of good faith," regional police chief Dante Tejada said.
However, after reaching the outskirts of a town about 100 kilometers (65 miles) south of Sapangdalaga, the driver deliberately crashed the bus at the side of a road near an army camp, said Misamis Occidental Gov. Loreto Leo Ocampos.
Soldiers from a nearby army camp surrounded the damaged vehicle but were told by the negotiators to "keep their distance" to allow another round of negotiations, Ocampos said.
"Negotiations are still going on"
Abductors flee, hostages safe as drama ends in Zamboanga Sur
A hostage-taking drama here ended at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday with the rescue of four remaining female hostages and Catholic Bishop Emmanuel Cabajar, who drove the suspects and the hostages to Lakewood town, a police official said.
The three armed men, who hijacked the bus in Plaridel town in Misamis Occidental province on Tuesday, abandoned Cabajar and the hostages when they jumped out from the white pick-up truck that was on its way inside the jungle of Lakewood, said Chief Superintendent Prospero Noble of the Western Area Police.
Only the four female hostages and the bishop were left in the pick-up when 10 other hostages jumped out of the vehicle ahead of their abductors.
Major General Gabriel Habacon, First Infantry Division commander, said none of the hostages was seriously hurt despite their escape.