Police have arrested a man suspected of kidnapping Italian businessman and retired Catholic priest Rolando del Torchio of Dipolog City.
Del Torchio was abducted at his pizza shop in Dipolog City on the island of Mindanao in October of 2015. He was released unharmed in April after a hefty ransom was paid to Abu Sayyaf who held him on the island of Jolo.
Arrested for the kidnapping was Sehar (Abner) Muloc, also known to many as ‘Commander Red Eye.’ He is accused of assisting the terrorists who took Del Torchio and is said to have stalked him until the Islamic-State-affiliated group kidnapped him.
Police say that Muloc is heavily linked to Abu Sayyaf – but failed to call him a member.
Muloc was arrested near the kidnapping point of Del Torchio in the town of Naga – Naga City is halfway between Dipolog and Jolo. He was arrested on Sunday.
Authorities in the case suspected Del Torchio was kidnapped by local gunmen who then handed him over to Abu Sayyaf in Jolo. That group is said to have travelled some 230 kilometres to the drop-off point where the terrorists waited.
56-year-old Del Torchio had previously worked as a missionary for PIME, an international organization, from 1998 to 2000. He then set up a restaurant in Dipolog City.