THE Abu Sayyaf bandits have seized hostages anew in the high seas of southern Philippines, the military reported Friday, October 21.
Seized were a Korean national and a Filipino crew of a Korean-flagged cargo ship the Abu Sayyaf bandits intercepted around 2:45 p.m., Thursday, October 20, in the waters of Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.
Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) spokesman Major Filemon Tan Jr., identified the hostages as Park Chul Hong, the skipper of M/V Dong Bang Giant 2, and Filipino crew Glenn Alindajao, a resident of Cebu.
Tan said M/V Dong Bang Giant 2, a heavy loader carrier cargo ship, was bound for South Korea coming from Australia when intercepted by 10 Abu Sayyaf bandits aboard a speed boat in the waters of Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.
He said the group is led by Jul Hassan, who is reportedly the follower of Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Idang Susukan.
The Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi has alerted all its units and dispatched military assets for counteraction.
Validation and intelligence monitoring are currently being conducted by the military in coordination with local chief executives and residents to track down the perpetrators and safely rescue the victims.
The kidnapping of the two has brought the total number of hostages to 14 people in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf bandits.
The other hostages include five Malaysians, four Filipinos, two Indonesians, and a Dutch birdwatcher. (Sunnex)