Philippines: Duterte couple kidnapped in Zamboanga del Norte, authorities deployed
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Philippines: Duterte couple kidnapped in Zamboanga del Norte, authorities deployed

PHILIPPINES police have confirmed a man, with the same surname as President Rodrigo Duterte, was kidnapped on Friday evening along with his wife by unidentified men in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines.

According to the Rappler, the police say Jose and Jessica Palma Duterte were abducted from their home in Sitio Tabok, Barangy Sta Maria.

“Both were forcibly abducted by more or less seven armed men wearing (masks) and police uniforms, who fled with the victims on a white speed boat to an undetermined direction,” the Inquirer quoted Chief Inspector Rogelio Alabata, the spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Police Office as saying.

Phil Star Global says authorities have confirmed the victims are not related to the president. They are currently trying to determine the suspects’ identity and the motives behind the abduction.

“The brain of the abduction might be from the same area and hired outsiders just to force the victims into selling their properties,” Case investigator PO2 Siegfried dela Cruz said.

The police, however, revealed Jose Duterte was detained in 2015 for attempted murder in Siocon and that both victims are not from affluent backgrounds.

A team made up of police forces and military troops have been deployed to locate the suspects and victims.

This comes days after Philippines security forces confirmed they had received reports that Abu Sayyaf militants beheaded German national, Jeugen Kantner, last Sunday evening.

SEE ALSO: Philippines: German captive feared beheaded as military pushes Abu Sayyaf offensive

Authorities are trying to locate the victim’s body as proof he was beheaded.

The militant group had demanded PHP30 million ((US$600,000) to release Kanther, who was kidnapped on Nov 5 last year in Malaysian waters with his girlfriend, Sabine Merz, when their boat was bordered by the militants.

Merz died in a standoff with the group but it is unclear why she was killed.