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PAGADIAN CITY – Gunmen seized an elderly Filipino trader and his grandson in the southern province of Zamboanga del Sur where rebels and criminal gangs are actively operating.

Police have confirmed the twin abductions and identified the victims as Antonio Tan, 70; and Ryan Tan, 21; who were both taken from their home in Maruing village in Lapuyan town late Wednesday.

It said police forces from the town and neighboring Margosatubig were tracking down the victim and his captors who escaped in three motorized pump boats heading to the town of Malangas

No other details were made available by the police about the victims or who were behind their abductions, but previous kidnappings in the province had been largely blamed to former members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and other gangs allied with the notorious Abu Sayyaf group.

It was not immediately known whether Tan’s family has received any demand for ransom or phone calls from the victims. No individual or group claimed responsibility for the abductions.

The latest abductions occurred despite a tight security being imposed by the military and police authorities due to the Lenten season. (Ely Dumaboc)

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