ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The military's Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) alerted Tuesday all its units to keep a close watch on all possible landing sites in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

The move came after a series of abduction has been reported, including that of two Malaysian nationals who were allegedly seized in Sabah, Malaysia and brought to Mindanao.

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Lieutenant General Benjamin Mohammad Dolorfino, Wesmincom chief, said the two Malaysians, one is described only as a 40-year-old seaweed plantation manager and the other a 25-year-old supervisor, were seized Monday morning in Sempurnah, Sabah, Malaysia.

They were reportedly abducted by five gunmen, some of whom were foreign-looking.

Also on Monday, two workers of a Sulu-based construction firm were kidnapped by suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits, who burned a hauling truck on a US-funded road project before seizing the victims.

Wesmincom officials identified the victims as Rajah Halud and a certain Jalal.

Investigation showed that the bandits burned the hauling truck and seized the two workers after the construction firm refused to give protection money.

“We have received such report,” Dolorfino said, the reason he alerted all the units under the military's Wesmincom that has jurisdiction over half of the southern Philippines territory.

Dolorfino said the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) command under Rear Admiral Alexander Pama has also deployed and alerted all NFWM units and watercraft for maritime interdiction operations.

He said all the intelligence units of the Wesmincom were also ordered to monitor probable landing sites within their respective areas of jurisdiction.

“Wala pa confirmation (There is no confirmation yet),” said newly-promoted Chief Superintendent Rolando Puruganan, the deputy chief of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (Dipo)-West.

Dipo-West is the counterpart of Wesmincom and both units have the same area of jurisdiction.

As of this posting Tuesday, government forces are continuously tracking down the whereabouts of the abductees for their eventual rescue.

Dolorfino said there is no update yet on the incident.

In April 2000, Abu Sayyaf bandits seized 21 people, including Asians and Europeans, in Sipadan, Malaysia and herded the hostages to the province of Sulu.

The hostages were freed in batches after alleged payment of huge ransom to the bandits who have gained international notoriety for staging the Sipadan kidnapping. (Bong Garcia/Sunnex)