ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Gunmen believed to be Abu Sayyaf bandits seized six Zamboangueño construction workers in Sulu at dawn Saturday, but one victim escaped.
The incident happened around 2:00 a.m. along Martirez Street, Jolo, Sulu, according to police authorities and relatives of the victims.
One of the six workers, identified as Larry Velasquez, managed to escape although he was shot and wounded in the leg.
Taken captives by the Abu Sayyaf bandits were Edmundo Ramos, Jayson Baylosis, Joker Adanza, Jun Guerrero and a fifth man who remain unidentified.
Two of the victim’s relatives, Amy Guerrero and Dayang Ramos, told the Philippines News Agency that the Abu Sayyaf bandits have demanded P1 million ransom in exchange for the release of each victim.
Guerrero and Ramos said the ransom demand was relayed to them through mobile phone by a man who identified himself as a member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
The Abu Sayyaf bandits behind the incident belong to the Ajang-Ajang group led by bandit sub-leader Ben Saudi.
The victims were taken as they slept on the second floor of the building they were constructing. The project engineer, who was the main target and was regularly sleeping at the ground floor, was not around at the time.
Relatives said that the victims had been working for three months already in Jolo, Sulu.