ISIS-linked Abu Sayyaf group kidnapped five construction workers in the town of Patikul, southern Philippines on Saturday morning.
The abduction took place hours before the scheduled visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Camp Teodulfo Bautista Hospital in the town of Jolo, Sulu.
Duterte on Saturday visited soldiers wounded in an encounter with the Abu Sayyaf group on July 8 in Patikul where four militants and a soldier were killed.
The terrorists’ latest batch of hostages are residents of Zamboanga City, hired to work on the Kawmpang Elementary School in Patikul.
Abu Sayyaf demanded P1 million ($19800) ransom for each construction worker.
According to GMA News, police report from the Patikul Municipal Police Station stated that six members of the Abu Sayyaf entered the school complex where the construction workers were staying and took the five victims.
A sixth victim managed to escape the abductors by jumping out of the window from the second level of the school building but was shot by the militants.
The wounded survivor was the one who reported the incident to the police.
A kin of the victims told the news outlet that the workers were contracted to paint the sports complex in the town since early May.
Relatives lamented the P1 million ransom demanded by the abductors saying they are only poor with nowhere to source the money.
Meanwhile, two notorious members of the Abu Sayyaf were neutralized in a span of three days, military said Saturday.
GMA News quoted Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, military spokesperson identifying the suspects as Abdulmubin Kudalat Salamuddin alias Mubin and Ibno Moro.
According to Petinglay, Salamuddin, a security guard working in a mall in Zamboanga City, was arrested in the city on Thursday.
Recovered from him was a fragmentation grenade.
Moro, on the other hand, was killed in a law enforcement operation in the southern Philippine province of Tawi-Tawi Saturday morning.
Moro was in the Tawi-Tawi police’s list of most wanted for various cases such as a massacre in 1989, 2004 kidnapping of a town mayor, 2002 kidnapping of a businessman, and 2004 murder of a father and son.
Abu Sayyaf is one of the four homegrown militant groups that swore allegiance to Daesh.
It is believed to have collaborated with the Maute group in laying siege to Marawi City in May 23 which prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to impose martial law in the entire island of Mindanao.