MANILA - The wife and relatives of the vice mayor of Buluan, along with several media men, were kidnapped by over a hundred armed men in the municipality of Shariff Aguak in Maguindanao province early Monday.
Buluan vice mayor Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu told ABS-CBN News that his wife, Jenalyn, and some relatives were on their way to file a certificate of candidacy on his behalf when the group of unidentified men forcibly took them.
Mangudadatu, who is running for governor of Maguindanao, said some 30 media men who went to cover the event were also seized.
He added he was still able to talk to his wife over the phone after the abduction. But as of the moment, his wife's phone could no longer be reached.
Mangudadatu believes the abduction was politically motivated. Despite this, he remains determined to push through with his plans to run for public office next year.
The Buluan vice mayor is appealing to authorities to take action on the incident and rescue his family as well as the local journalists. - Report from Lore Mae Andong, ABS-CBN Cotabato