ZAMBOANGA CITY (Zamboanga Journal / 27 Jul) Unidentified armed men snatched Thursday a Filipino matriarch and her son in the strife-torn island of Jolo, about 950 km south of Manila, a senior army commander said.
Brig. Gen. Alexander Aleo said Jacky Selvin, 58, and Jeffrey Selvin, 27, were seized at around outside their house at Gandasuli road in downtown Jolo. "We are still investigating who were behind the kidnapping," Aleo told the Zamboanga Journal.
He said the woman owns a bakery in Jolo. No group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, but the island is a known lair of the Abu Sayyaf group, blamed for the series of terrorism and kidnappings.
Last month, suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen freed a kidnapped 41-year old pharmacy owner Bren Vergara after more than two months in captivity after their family allegedly paid more than one million pesos in ransom. The man was snatched April 12 together with his ailing 70-year old mother Caridad Vergara, who had been earlier freed near Jolo town.
Both hostages were tortured by their guards during their captivity in the mountain and the man was beaten so badly to the point that he nearly died. Gunmen snatched the duo outside their pharmacy in downtown Jolo.
The Abu Sayyaf had carried high-profile kidnappings in the past, including a daring raid on the Malaysian resort island of Sipadan in 2000 where it seized 21 Asian and European holiday-makers, and a similar attack on the posh Dos Palmas resort in the central Philippine island of Palawan a year later where militants seized 17 Filipinos and three U.S. citizens, two of whom were later beheaded and killed.