MANILA - The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) still doesn’t have clues on the exact whereabouts of the Chinese and Filipina kidnapped a week ago at a diving resort in Malaysia.
AFP Western Mindanao Command (Wescom) spokesperson Capt. Rowena Muyuela said all available air, ground, and naval assets are already being used in looking for 29-year-old tourist Gao Huayuan and 40-year-old resort employee Marcy Dayawan.
The two were seized by Abu Sayyaf terrorists last week.
The military confirmed that the mercenaries were led by Murphy Ambang Ladia, alias Haji Gulam, a native of Pandami island in Sulu.
Ladia is a former member of the Nur Misuari-led Moro National Liberation Front faction.
"We are utilizing all the air assets, available vessels. Also our troops have already been deployed," Muyuela said.
Wescom Commander Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero said efforts are still focused in Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi (BaSulTa).
He did not explain further "due to operational security concerns."
"Our units in BaSulTa have stepped up their security operations, in coordination with the PNP as well as other agencies, to address this current abduction along with other previous unresolved incidents," he said.
The Abu Sayyaf is still holding several other hostages in the Sulu province, including foreign wildlife photographers - Dutchman Elwold Horn and Swiss Lorenzo Vinciguerra - who were snatched in Tawi-tawi in February 2012.