BASILAN, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Jun 3, 2011) – Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants seized a Filipino construction engineer on Friday in the restive southern Filipino province of Basilan, officials said.
Officials said the victim Engineer Virgilio Fernandez, of Mace Construction, was snatched in the village of Bulanting in Lamitan City. “Troops have launched a rescue operation to recover the hostage,” said Army Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, a regional military spokesman.
He said initial military reports tagged Muhmin and Musana Jamiri as behind the latest kidnapping.
The motive of the abduction is still unknown, but the Abu Sayyaf has been involved in many kidnappings for ransoms in the southern Philippines.
Jamiri’s group was also behind the kidnapping in December of a resort owner, Larry delos Santos, who are still being held captive for ransom. The militants demanded P20 million for the victim’s freedom.
The group is also suspected as behind the kidnapping in May of a 16-year old student, Nico Sebastian, in Basilan’s Tuburan town. Sebastian was first reported missing by his family after he failed to come home.
But a man phoned Sebastian’s family to say that the teenager is being held for ransom and would only release the hostage in exchange for P2.5 million. (Mindanao Examiner)