Military gets conflicting info on abducted couple

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    THE military has been getting conflicting information on the whereabouts of a British businessman and his Filipina wife who were abducted by an armed group in Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur last Oct. 4.

    Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command based in Zamboanga City, said the kidnappers may be behind the disinformation to mislead the military in the conduct of rescue operations.

    “Many are trying to ride on the issue. Imagine, one time we got information from different sources who said the victims are in four areas (at a given time),” Sobejana said in a phone interview.

    “But they (victims) cannot be at the same places at a given time. Maximum is two areas because there are two victims, if they are split. Four information pointing to different directions, that’s something else,” he said.

    Sobejana said four sources alleged the victims – Allan Hyron and wife Wilma – are with their captors in different areas in Zamboanga Peninsula.

    Sobejana said the kidnappers may responsible in the false information to the military “to mislead us.”

    “They may be thinking that we rely on information without the benefit of validation. We’re validating (all information)….If the validation of the information is positive, thats the only time we take appropriate actions,” said Sobejana.

    As of yesterday, Sobejana said efforts are still underway to establish the group affiliation of the suspects who seized the couple from their resort in Tukuran town. The couple also owns a school in the municipality.

    Sobejana had earlier said the couple may have been kidnapped by a group that would later pass the victims to the Abu Sayyaf. He said they are also checking if the kidnapping was related to the couple’s decision last month to dismiss five teachers from their school.

    Sobejana said the military, through its Joint Task Force Hyron, will not stop until the couple is rescued. “Unfortunately, there is still no successful rescue operation,” the official said.