Philippines investigates possible abduction of missing Spaniards

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Manila, May 6 (IANS) Philippine authorities are investigating the possibility that two Spaniards who went missing on Monday while sailing in Malaysian waters were kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf, officials said on Friday.

“We have been investigating information that has come to us on the possibility that they were kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf,” Restituto Padilla, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, told EFE news.

“There is no news at the moment and we have not received any confirmation yet,” he added.

Spaniards David Hernandez and Marta Miguel disappeared along with a Chinese person and a Malaysian, while travelling in a boat from Balambangan island towards the Kudat district in northern Borneo.

Malaysian authorities have pointed to motor failure as the possible cause of the disappearance of the boat, which would have been swept away by the currents. They said they are yet considering the possibility of kidnapping by pirates.

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“We can’t reach this conclusion yet. Until now, we have no proof to make us think they may have been abducted. There has been no ransom demand,” said Malaysia’s First Admiral Mohamad Zubil bin Matsom, who is in charge of the operation.

The boat disappeared in the Sulu Sea located between Borneo island and the southern Philippines, which is the base of jihadi group Abu Sayyaf.



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