THE Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) has ordered the formation of a task force that will spearhead efforts to rescue a couple abducted last week in Zamboanga del Sur.
The task force will be headed by Maj. Gen. Roberto Ancan, commanding general of the Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry Division, according to Maj. Arvin Encinas, WestMinCom spokesman.
The unit, to be called Task Force Hyrons, will lead efforts to rescue Briton Allan Hyrons, 70, and his Filipino wife Wilma. Armed men kidnapped the two at a beach resort in Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur on Friday.
“As of this time, our coordination with our counterparts are ongoing, including the Philippine National Police and the community since they can also help us in determining the exact location where the couple was brought,” Encinas said in a radio interview.
He added that it was too early to conclude if the Abu Sayyaf Group was behind the abduction.
“There are no signs yet saying that the Abu Sayyaf is behind this abduction. There have been lawless elements in Zamboanga del Sur and they are in a group conducting kidnap-for-ransom,” Encinas pointed out.
He refused to divulge other details, saying it might compromise ongoing operations.