ZAMBOANGA CITY: Security forces have been searching for an elderly Filipino trader and his grandson, who were abducted in the southern Philippine province of Zamboanga del Sur, where rebels and criminal gangs are actively operating.
Police have confirmed the twin abductions and identified the victims as Antonio Tan, 70, and Ryan Tan, 21, who were both taken from their home in Maruing village in Lapuyan town on the night of March 23.
Police forces from the town and neighboring Margosatubig were tracking down the victims and their captors, who had escaped in three motorized boats heading to the town of Malangas.
No other details were made available by the police, although previous kidnappings in the province had been largely blamed on former members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and other gangs allied with the notorious Abu Sayyaf group.
It was not immediately known whether the Tan family has received any demand for ransom or phone calls from the kidnappers.
No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility for the abductions.
The latest abductions occurred despite a tight security being imposed by the military and police authorities for the Lenten season. AL JACINTO