Sunday, October 30, 2011

3 Koreans missing in southern Philippines

ILIGAN CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 30, 2011) – Three South Korean nationals were reported missing after failing to return to their hotel from a trip to Lanao province in the southern Philippines.

The trio - Woo Shu Bong, Kim Nam Dou and Choi – were billeted at a hotel in Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental and have failed to return, police said.

Radio reports also quoted Senior Superintendent Gerry Rosales, the city police chief, as saying the foreigners went to Lanao to inspect a mining site. It was unknown whether the three men had a Filipino guide, of if they were lost or abducted.

Moro rebels and bandits are actively operation in Lanao. “We have no official reports the missing Koreans,” said Army Colonel Daniel Lucero, commander of the 103rd Infantry Brigade.

The 4th Infantry Division in Misamis Oriental province also said that it has no official reports about the missing foreigners. “We heard about on the radio, but officially there is no report about the missing Koreans,” said Army Major Eugenio Osias, its spokesman.

In March 2008, Moro rebels kidnapped a South Korean businessman Tae Jung and his Filipino companion Victor Macasieras in Lanao del Sur province and freed them two months later in exchange for huge ransoms. The two men, who were into mining, were buying chromites near Kapai town when gunmen seized them.

A South Korean treasure hunter Yoon Jae-keon was also kidnapped in February 2002 in Sarangani province near Lanao and freed four months later after his family paid an undetermined amount of ransom.

And in 1993, eight Korean engineers working on a construction site were also kidnapped for ransom by rebels in North Cotabato province, and freed unharmed after a series of government negotiations.

Foreigners have been targeted by rebels and criminal gangs for ransoms in the southern Philippines over the past decades and in some cases killed either for political reason or if their family failed to buy their freedom. (Mindanao Examiner)

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