Abu Sayyaf seizes Chinese, Germans hostages
A Chinese national and two Germans may be the latest hostages of the Abu Sayyaf, according to reports.
Malaysian media identified the Chinese victim as Yang Zailin, 34, a fish farm manager in Sabah, and said the gunmen who grabbed him fled toward the Philippines.
His abduction came a month after unidentified gunmen seized two women—a Chinese tourist and a Filipino resort worker—from an island off Sabah.
The Chinese consulate in Kuching, in the neighboring Malaysian state of Sarawak, said the new kidnap victim was from the southern Chinese province of Guizhou and worked for a Malaysian fishing company, state news agency Xinhua reported.
In Zamboanga City, Mindanao State University professor Octavio Dinampo said the two Germans, Dr. Stefan Viktor Okonek, 72, and Henrite Dielen, 42, were brought to Sulu in the last week of April.
“The two Germans are now with Radulan Sahiron,” he said, referring to the Abu Sayyaf leader.
Dinampo said locals who had grown tired of the Abu Sayyaf had relayed the information.
He said the Germans were taken to Patikul by Ambrin Absara and Muammar Askali in a speedboat owned by another suspected Abu Sayyaf leader, Idang Susukan.
“My informants told me they are now in Barangay (village) Kabuntakas and are being kept there with the two European bird watchers,”he said, referring to Dutchman Ewold Horn and Swiss national Lorenzo Vinciguerra who were taken from Panglima Sugala in Tawi-Tawi on Feb. 1 last year.
Dinampo’s story was corroborated by a police source.
The source said “Okonek and Dielen have been transferred to Sulu by the Abu Sayyaf.” He said Chief Supt. Noel de los Reyes, police chief in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, could provide additional details.
However, repeated attempts by the Inquirer to reach De los Reyes failed as he did not pick up his phone.
But Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, chief of the Western Mindanao Command, said there was no confirmation of the kidnapping of the two Germans.
Their yacht, the MV Catherine, was found in the waters of Tagnato in Bataraza, Palawan province, on April 26.
Dinampo said the female Chinese tourist taken from the Sabah resort, Gao Hua Yuan, 29, and the Filipino resort employee, Marcy “Mimi” Dayawan, were also taken to Sulu following their kidnapping from Singamata Reef Resort in Malaysia on April 2.
“The Chinese and Pinay are now in Bud Taran, Talipao, and they were taken by one of the original hostage takers during the Sipadan incident, Angad Adji,” Dinampo said.—By Julie Alipala
Inquirer Mindanao With reports from Liza Jocson, Inquirer Mindanao; and wires