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, has lived in the province since 2013, where he owns and operates several businesses with his wife.
Two of the suspects checked into the resort a day before the abduction and waited for the couple to arrive, police spokesperson Major Helen Galvez said.
“They own a lot of properties and business so they are always moving,” Galvez said. “The suspects waited for the victims to arrive at the resort.”
More gunmen arrived on Friday and entered the beach resort, taking the couple to the beach front, and forcing them in to two motorized 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, said Captain Clint Antipala, a local military spokesperson.
Security forces have not identified the group behind the abduction and no one has claimed responsibility for it.
The region is home to numerous armed groups including Abu Sayyaf. The highly factionalized group has leaders who are focused on kidnapping foreigners for ransom, while others have recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
The group has been responsible for suicide bombings in the region.
A 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 the past few 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,” Galvez said.
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
PLAYING THE VICTIM? A Chinese spokesman sent a statement to Australian media saying that Beijing had ‘irrefutable’ evidence of Canberra’s widescale espionage Australia yesterday unveiled the “largest-ever” boost in cybersecurity spending, days after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke out about a wave of state-sponsored attacks suspected to have been carried out by China. Morrison and government officials said the country would spend an additional A$1.35 billion (US$928 million) on cybersecurity, about a 10 percent hike, taking the budget for the next decade to A$15 billion. The largest chunk of the new money would help create 500 jobs within the Australian Signals Directorate, the government’s communications intelligence agency. Morrison on June 19 said that a “state-based actor” was targeting a host of
The Philippine army chief yesterday expressed outrage over the fatal police shooting of four soldiers, including two officers, and demanded justice, as both sides provided contrasting accounts of the killings. Philippine Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Ano, a retired military chief of staff who now oversees the national police, ordered that the police involved in Monday’s violence in Jolo in Sulu Province be disarmed and restricted for investigation. Police said the soldiers were killed in a “misencounter” with a group of police officers. The army said that the two officers and two enlisted men were on a mission against