MANILA – The two German nationals who went missing in the waters between Palawan and Sabah, Malaysia were abducted by the Abu Sayyaf Group, a professor said Thursday.
Mindanao State Unviersity Professor Octavio Dinampo told dzMM that Stefan Viktor Okonek, 72, and his companion, Henrike Dielen, 47, were abducted by Abu Sayyaf bandits led by Ambrin Absara and Muammar Askali off Rio Tuba in Palawan.
The ASG bandits allegedly used a speedboat owned by another ASG leader, Idang Susukan, in snatching the German nationals.
Dinampo said the Germans were not tourists but long-time residents of Palawan. He said according to his informants, the two are now with ASG leader Radulan Sahiron.
Dinampo said the two were initially brought to the ASG stronghold in Sitio Sangay, Barangay Buhanginan in Patikul and were later transported to Barangay Kabbon Takas, also in Patikul.
''They were brought to the mountains where there is a safehouse, away from the military,'' Dinampo said.
Dinampo said the two Germans were made to join European birdwatchers Elwold Horn and Lorenzo Vinciguerra. The two birdwatchers were abducted by the bandit group in Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi on January 31, 2012.
The bandit group was also allegedly behind the abduction of another Chinese national from a resort in Sabah, Malaysia.
The victim was identified as 34-year-old Yang Zai Lin, who worked as a manager at a fish farm.
Yang's abduction occurred about a month after another Chinese national, Gao Huayun, 29, and Filipina Marcy Dayawan, 40, were seized from a resort in Sabah.
Dinampo said Gao suffered a miscarriage while in the hands of Abu Sayyaf.