From Malaya Business Insight (Sep 29): Sulu gov’s cousin seized by Abu Sayyaf
A COUNCILOR of Jolo town in Sulu, who is a cousin of Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan II, was abducted Wednesday night by members of the Abu Sayyaf in Indanan town, also in Sulu.
Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the military’s Joint Task Force Marawi, said Ezzenden Soud Tan, a member of the Tausog Bikers Club, and 11 fellow bikers were on the way back to Jolo, traversing a road between Barangays Timbangan and Tagbak, when the suspects seized Tan at around 6 p.m.
The kidnappers were aboard a red Tamaraw FX van, he said.
“Mostly, the perpetrators are members of the Abu Sayyaf... Search and rescue operations are ongoing,” said Sobejana.
Tan’s abduction brought to 14 the number of kidnap victims, including foreigners, in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.
The military stepped up operations against the Abu Sayyaf last year, leading to rescue and recovery of a number of hostages. “We started with about 33 kidnap victims, now it’s down to 14,” said Sobejana.
The offensive has also resulted in the death of many Abu Sayyaf members, including sub-leaders. There are about 300 to 400 members of the Abu Sayyaf, mostly operating in Sulu.