ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 9, 2011) – Gunmen clad in police uniform seized three men, one of them a Filipino engineer, on a highway in the southern Philippine province of Lanao del Norte, security officials said on Thursday.
Officials said the trio – Boyet Alumbro, a private engineer; and Alexander Lim and his companion Edgar Gomez, were on a sports truck when gunmen flagged them down near the village of Samboron in the town of Linamon and seized them.
“We still do not know who were behind this, but initial reports said the gunmen were all wearing a police shirt. Our forces are tracking down the gunmen and their hostages,” said Army Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, a spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command.
He said the gunmen were reported fleeing towards Lanao del Sur, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.
No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction and Cabangbang did not provide details about the hostages. “We have no details yet about the victims. We are still gathering data about them,” he said.
Just last week, a Filipino engineer, Virgilio Fernandez, who overseas a road project in Basilan, also in the Muslim autonomous region, was kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militants, near Lamitan City.
The Abu Sayyaf is still holding a resort owner, Larry Tam Delos Santos, in Basilan since December and another teenager, Nico Sebastian, is also being held by rebels in the troubled province. (Mindanao Examiner)