Town mayor abducted

David Yu Santos
A Zamboanga del Norte town mayor was abducted near the town center, police said

File photo of Salug town proper in Zamboanga del Norte

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Suspected rebels seized on Monday evening, April 2, a mayor of a Zamboanga del Norte town, the police reported.

At least 10 armed men clad in police camouflage abducted Jeffrey Lim, mayor of Salug municipality, at the town’s bus terminal past 7pm Monday.

Eyewitnesses said the suspects, who were carrying high-powered firearms, forced Lim to board a yellow multi-cab van with plate number 811.

Regional police deputy director Chief Supt Mario Yanga said Lim and his family have been eating out at the newly-constructed bus terminal for a number of nights now, often without security escorts. It was unclear though if Lim was with his family at the time of his abduction.

The vehicle used in the mayor’s abduction was later found abandoned and burned in Barangay Caracol.

A special task group has been formed to look into the incident and make sure the mayor is freed.

The victim’s father, Jesus, was the town’s previous chief executive.

Authorities suspect that Lim could have been brought to either the towns of Sibuco, Siocon, Sirawai or Baliguian, otherwise known as the Triple S-B area, where armed rebels are known to maintain camps.

Police are also looking into the possible involvement of Aloy Alsree, a known leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) operating in the Triple S-B area. They did not say why.

Police and military units have been alerted to prevent the suspects from fleeing to other parts of the region. – Rappler.com