ZAMBOANGA CITY: Police have launched an operation to rescue three people seized in Zamboanga Sibugay late Friday by seven gunmen believed to have ties with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
Zamboanga Sibugay police director, Senior Supt. Romulo Cleve Taboso, said his men are working with military forces to track down the gunmen.
Taboso said that some the troops were scouring the coastal areas, while others were in the high seas.
He identified the victims as Elmer Romoc, an employee of the municipal treasurer’s office of Payao; his wife, Nora and, son Ricson.
He said the gunmen took the victims from their residence in Barangay Kulisap in Payao at about 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
Police said the victims own a small sari-sari store in the village.
Based on intelligence report, the suspects belong to the Tahir Ustadz group that have ties with the Sulu-based ASG, Taboso said, adding that they belong to a new crime group that has emerged in the province.