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Thu, Feb 08, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Body of missing tourist found near Philippine capital

CNA , MANILA

Philippine police confirmed yesterday that the body of a Taiwan tourist kidnapped a week ago was found in Batangas Province, south of the capital city of Manila.

According to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Manila, local police informed Taiwan officials that a body was discovered in the town of Laurel bearing a photocopy of a passport identifying the victim as Chang Ming-wen (張明文), 38, who had been missing since he was forcibly taken from a taxi Jan. 30.

Taiwan's representative to Manila, Luo Chih-yuan (羅致遠), said that he has already formally written to the chief police commissioner urging the authorities to step up the investigation of the case.

Luo added that his office has already informed Chang's family in Taiwan.

According to Chang's girlfriend Hung I-ting, she and Chang took a taxi at Manila's international airport on Jan. 30 and told the driver to take them to Makati, Manila's financial district, but the taxi stopped after just 10 minutes, whereupon two armed gunmen broke into the car. Hung said the taxi drove on for another hour before stopping at a secluded place where the kidnappers took her diamond ring, watch and 50,000 pesos (US$1,050).

After one of the kidnappers forced Chang out of the car, the driver and the other gunman took her to another location and dumped her, she said.

Hung said that before leaving, the men told her that they would hurt her boyfriend if she called the police.

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