British national and his wife kidnapped in southern Philippines
Allan Hyrons, 70, and Filipina wife Wilma were taken by armed men on Friday night in Mindanao region
British man Allan Arthur Hyrons, 70, and his Filipina wife Wilma Paglinawan Hyrons were kidnapped from Hyrons Beach, a resort the couple owns in Tukuran, Southern Philippines.
British man Allan Arthur Hyrons, 70, and his Filipina wife. Wilma Paglinawan Hyrons were kidnapped from Hyrons Beach, a resort the couple owns in Tukuran, Southern Philippines. Photograph: Supplied by Philippines police
A British national and his Filipina wife have been abducted from a resort in the southern Philippines.
Allan Arthur Hyrons, 70, and his wife Wilma Paglinawan Hyrons were taken by armed men at 6:50pm on Friday from Hyrons Beach, a resort the couple owns in Tukuran town in Zamboanga Del Sur.
Hyrons, a dual national who has lived in the province since 2013, where he owns and operates several businesses with his wife.
A police spokesperson Major Helen Galvez told the Guardian two of the suspects checked into the resort a day before the abduction and waited for the couple to arrive.
“They own a lot of properties and business so they are always moving. The suspects waited for the victims to arrive at the resort,” said Galvez.
More gunmen arrived and entered the beach resort on Friday, taking the couple to the beach front, and forcing them in to two motorised boats. The vessels fled in two directions. It was not clear if the couple were in one boat or were separated.
The military alerted its forces and was coordinating a search operation with police, according to a local military spokesperson, Captain Clint Antipala.
Security forces have not identified the group behind the abduction and no one has claimed responsibility.
The region is home to numerous armed groups including Abu Sayyaf . The highly factionalised group has leaders who are focused on kidnapping foreigners for ransom while others have recently pledged allegiance to Islamic state. The group has been responsible for suicide bombings in the region.
A trilateral patrol agreement between the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia in the Sulu Sea, surrounding island provinces where Abu Sayyaf Group mainly operate, has reduced kidnappings in recent years.
The Zamboanga Peninsula in mainland Mindanao, where the latest abduction happened, has not seen incidents of kidnapping in recent years.
“It’s been a while since an incident of kidnapping happened in our area. We are alarmed,” said Galvez.