Filipino-Chinese businessman kidnapped in southern Philippines
A Filipino-Chinese businessman was
kidnapped by unidentified gunmen on a southern Philippine island where three
staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross were being held
by Muslim militants, police said Tuesday, dpa
Dionghan Que, a trader, was seized late Friday on Jolo island, 1,000 kilometres south of Manila, said Superintendent Danilo Bacas, operations chief of a regional police command.
Bacas said Que was on his way home after closing his store at the public market in Jolo town when gunmen seized him.
Police have not yet identified Que's kidnappers but suspected al-Qaeda-linked Muslim Abu Sayyaf rebels were behind the abduction.
The new kidnapping occurred as Abu Sayyaf rebels demanded the pullout of government troops as a condition for holding negotiations for the release of the abducted Red Cross staff.
Swiss Andreas Notter, Italian Eugenio Vagni and Filipino Mary Jean Lacaba were abducted January 15 after visiting the provincial jail in Jolo.
Local officials in Jolo were verifying a letter allegedly sent by their kidnappers naming at least 10 possible negotiators, including the ambassadors of Switzerland, Italy and Qatar.
Sulu Vice Governor Lady Anne Sahidula, who visited the Red Cross workers last week, said the kidnappers did not ask for ransom money but insisted on getting "livelihood projects."
The Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for some of the worst terrorist attacks in the Philippines.
It is also notorious for high-profile kidnapping-for-ransom cases, including the abduction of 21 European tourists and Asian workers from a Malaysian resort island in 2000. Millions of dollars in ransom was paid before they were freed months later.