ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The military said Monday that it is still puzzled by the identity of the kidnapped Japanese herbalist in Sulu after authorities found several identification (ID) cards at his home.
Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) Commander Benjamin Mohammad Dolorfino said an ID card identified 63-year-old Toshio Ito as a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MNLF).
The ID card identified Ito as a medic of MILF, a Muslim political organization whose aim is to establish a separate Islamic state in the southern Philippines.
But Dolorfino believed that Ito was only using the ID card as cover to his true identity. "He has many other IDs under the name of Katayama (Mamaito),” he said.
A driver's license, which bears the photograph of Ito but under the name of Mamaito, was among the IDs recovered at the kidnap victim's residence.
Dolorfino said verification is ongoing to establish the identity of the Japanese national.
Ito was kidnapped by armed men in Sitio Bas in Bangkilay village in Pangutaran, Sulu on July 16.
His real identity was known by authorities from his expired passport which showed that Japanese national was born on June 18, 1947 in Hiroshima Japan.
As of Monday, Dolorfino said no significant development in the case of the foreign national. He assured though that follow-up operation is ongoing.
Ito, who arrived in Pangutaran town six years ago, was known to the community as "Doctor Amir." (Bong Garcia/Sunnex)