LEGAZPI CITY — Police of Oas, Albay rescued Monday a two-year-old boy taken hostage for around eight hours inside a passenger bus by a man, who used a crumpled mineral water bottle as weapon and forced the bus to stop in Oas town, shortly after midnight.
Senior Insp. Domingo Tapel Jr, Oas police chief, in an interview, said at 8:30 a.m., members of the hostage-negotiating team consisting of the town’s policemen were able to find an opportunity to grab hostage-taker Dakila Bayani Dalanon, 48, from behind his back and extricate from him his hostage, Vince Malabarbas.
Tapel said initial investigation showed Dalanon was despondent and facing a rape complaint filed against him by his own daughter when he boarded the Masbate-bound bus that departed from Manila on Sunday evening.
“Dalanon grabbed the child from the grip of his mother, Marlyn, who was seated beside him in the Raymond Bus passenger line before pointing at the face of the child a crushed empty bottle of mineral water which he used as a weapon,” said Tapel.
It was at this point when Dalanon announced the hostage and forced the bus to stop as it was cruising along Maharlika Highway in Barangay Ilaor Norte in Oas town.
Police investigators said both the victim and the suspect are residents of Milagros town in Masbate.
Marlyn, the boy’s mother, said Dalanon who was seated beside her had started a conversation with her about his daughter who filed the rape complaint.
“Dalanon had denied any wrongdoing (about the complaint) and said he was merely being harassed by his wife’s family,” said Marlyn.
In the middle of their conversation, Dalanon took her son from her and then declared his son hostage.
Marlyn said Dalanon was also demanding the bus driver to redirect their Masbate-bound bus back to Manila.
She said the bus driver did not comply with Dalanon’s order but instead stepped out of the bus and reported the incident to the Oas police.
Marlyn said Dalanon also ordered all the passengers to step out of the bus as he demanded for a negotiator who could speak his Visayan dialect.
Tapel Jr. said after learning about the hostage-taking incident from the bus driver, Graciano Mendoza, they went to the hostage-taking site and asked Dalanon what his demands were for him to release the boy.
“At one time he (suspect) even demanded that (radio and television news anchor) Mike Enriquez fetch him at the bus,” said Tapel.
Later Dalanon also requested anybody who could speak his Visayan dialect to talk to him about his demand for the bus to go back to Manila.
Police had failed to convince Dalanon to release his victim in negotiations lasting more than seven hours before police found a chance to seize the boy from Dalanon’s grip.
Although the boy suffered some bruises, the attending physicians at the Lumbes-Rances Hospital, also in Oas, declared the hostage victim safe.
Dalanon is now under the custody of the Oas Municipal Police Office while investigation of the incident has continued. Samuel Toledo/PNA/northboundasia.com