- Major Filemon Tan, AFP Western Mindanao Command’s spokesperson, confirmed that three individuals were kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf Group
- The three kidnapped individuals which include a Globe Telecom technician, his wife, and a companion, were on board a multicab and were on their way to Barangay Bagsak
- Tan revealed that 17 of the 27 captives of the bandits are foreigners including Dutch wildlife photographer Elwood Horn and Norweigan Kjartan Sekkingstad
MANILA, Philippines – Three individuals in Patikul, Sulu were feared to be abducted by suspected Abu Sayyaf Group members on Saturday morning.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) Western Mindanao Command, through their spokesperson Major Filemon Tan, confirmed that three individuals were kidnapped by the bandits at around 10:20 a.m. in Barangay Timpook, Patikul in Sulu.
Florante S. Solmerin mentioned in his article for The Standard that the three individuals include a Globe Telecom technician, his wife, and a companion. They were on board a multicab and were on their way to Barangay Bagsak.
The victims were identified as Levi Gonzales and his wife, Daniele, both 30 years old, and Shariff Julhasan Abirin. Tan said that adding the latest abduction, the Abu Sayyaf Group is now holding 27 individuals.
“The trio was forcibly taken going to the direction of Sitio Kaban-kaban (also in barangay Timpook),” Tan said; adding that the multicab of the victims was later recovered by the authorities.
With the recent abduction, Tan reassured the public that rescue operations are underway to recover the victims and said that the military has yet to determine if Abu Sayyaf has made any ransom demands.
“It will all start from intelligence gathering. We cannot just deploy troops, conduct strike operations, with us knowing the particular area where they are hiding. We have an ongoing intelligence build-up,” Tan said.
An article by Joseph Tristan Roxas for GMA News said Tan revealed that 17 of the 27 captives of the bandits are foreigners including Dutch wildlife photographer Elwood Horn and Norweigan Kjartan Sekkingstad.
Last July 26, the Malaysian police chief said that five Malaysian tugboat crew members went missing off the coast of Borneo Island. On the same month, Abu Sayyaf Group kidnapped seven Indonesian sailors in the Sulu Sea.