Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants kidnapped three fishermen in the southern Philippines and called their company to demand ransom in a reminder of the lingering danger from the battle-crippled terrorist group, police said Monday.
Boat captain Renato Panisales and two crewmen were fishing off southern Sulu province Saturday when Abu Sayyaf gunmen approached on a motorboat and abducted them at gunpoint. The militants called the captives' fishing company in nearby Zamboanga city on Sunday, apparently to demand ransom, police Director Felicisimo Khu Jr. said.
In a separate kidnapping, three Abu Sayyaf gunmen seized restaurant caretaker Rolando dela Cruz on Monday in Lamitan town on Basilan island near Sulu. They fled aboard a jeep, which the militants later burned, regional military spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said.
Cruz's kidnappers were believed to be led by Abu Sayyaf commander Nurhassan Jamiri, who has been blamed for kidnappings, bombings and beheadings in predominantly Muslim Basilan, Cabangbang said.