May 16, 2012 News: Despite the massive manhunt and the access to high-tech tracking devices, the military is still unable to determine the exact whereabouts of an Australian national and a town mayor who were separately abducted by gunmen in the Zamboanga Peninsula region.
Warren Richard Rodwell, 53, of Sydney, Australia, was seized by gunmen around 6:15 p.m. of December 5, 2011 from his house in Greenmeadow subdivision, Lower Pangi village, Ipil, the capital town of Zamboanga Sibugay province. Jeffrey Lim, 37, mayor of Salug municipality Zamboanga del Norte, was seized by gunmen around 7 p.m. last April 2 at the town’s bus terminal.
Rodwell is married to a Filipina named Maricor Gutang, who was not around when the gunmen abducted her husband.
Both military and government sources could only say that the victims, especially Mr. Rodwell, were reported to be brought to Basilan province.
The Abu Sayyaf is tagged as the abductors of the two victims.
The only piece of evidence that Rodwell is still alive was a video sent by the kidnappers to his Rodwell’s family last January 2012
In that video, Rodwell called for Canberra to pay $2 million ransom being demanded by his captors.
Earlier, an MILF commander, Aloy Alsree, was tagged by the military as behind the abduction of Mayor Lim, but the military had to withdraw the accusation later.
When asked to comment by Luwaran, Aloy, who passed away last April 19, described the accusation as unfair and highly malicious.
“First, I have never been a kidnapper; second, Lim and I were boyhood friends, and he is like a brother to me,” Aloy recounted to this website.