• School official abducted in Southern Philippines

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: A group of unidentified gunmen abducted a school supervisor in the southern Philippines and police launched an operation on Tuesday to track down the victim.

    Police said Rudy Luna and his wife Tessie were both seized by eight gunmen inside their house in Zamboanga del Sur’s Kumalarang town, but the woman managed to escaped and told authorities about the abduction which occurred late Monday.

    Chief Inspector Ariel Huesca, a regional police spokesman, said they have alerted security forces in the province about the abduction. “The municipal police force is still conducting a follow up operation for the possible rescue of the victim and the arrest of the abductors,” he told The Manila Times.

    Huesca said the victim, a supervisor of the Kumalarang Central Elementary School, was taken away using the victim’s car and headed to the seacoast in the village of Picanan where a motorized boat was waiting.

    Major General Felicito Virgilio Trinidad, commander of the 1st Infantry Division, also ordered troops to help the local police force in tracking down the abductors and their victim.

    “General Trinidad has ordered troops in the area to pursue and track down the perpetrators. We still do not know the motives and the group behind the abduction,” Major Edmond Abella, a spokesman for the 1st Infantry Division, said in a separate interview.

    No individual or group claimed responsibility for the abduction, but previous cases had been largely blamed to the Abu Sayyaf and other rebel groups which are actively operating in the province and nearby areas. AL JACINTO

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