The military and local police are conducting intensified operations in an attempt to rescue two farmers abducted in Siocon municipality, Zamboanga del Norte, on Friday night.
The operations are being conducted by the joint task forces of Zamboanga and Basilan under the Western Mindanao Command.
Seven unidentified suspects abducted Jose Duterte, 60, and his wife, 52, reported to be farmers, at their home in Barangay Santa Maria.
The kidnappers took the Dutertes onboard a pump boat and headed toward Sirawai municipality.
According to local police, the couple are not related to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Naval task groups in all concerned areas were alerted to pre-empt the suspects’ docking.
"We understand the situation of the families of the victims and we sympathize with them. It is in this light that our troops and the PNP are doing their best to bring the victims back to their family," Maj. Gen. Carlito G. Galvez Jr. said on Saturday.
"We ask for cooperation from the family and those who know any information about the incident as no matter how small, it might be of use to the immediate rescue of the victims."
WestMinCom continues to assist the police and local government units in tracking down the perpetrators and rescuing the victims.