POLICE and military have launched operations to rescue a retired Army officer who was abducted by gunmen last Saturday in Zamboanga City.

Abducted around 9 a.m. Saturday was Second Lieutenant (ret.) Benjamin Almonte, 55, a resident of the village of Manicahan, 20 kilometers east of Zamboanga City.

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Police investigation disclosed that Almonte was aboard his private-owned motorized banca and on a fishing venture off the coast of Manicahan when seized by two gunmen aboard on another motorized banca.

Policemen, who rushed to the place of the incident, have recovered the victim's motorized banca, which was left behind by the gunmen.

Arcelia, Almonte's wife, said they have no information yet on her husband's whereabouts or did anyone have called them to make demands.

The police learned that fishing had been Almonte's leisure since the time he retired from the military service.

The Almonte family remains puzzled about the incident since there was not threat on the victim's life, the police said.

The victim's wife appealed for his release, saying her husband is under medication. (Bong Garcia)