SEMPORNA - Four days have passed since 58-year-old Taiwanese tourist Chang An Wei was abducted from the Pom Pom Island Resort and there has been no sighting of her or the gunmen in southern Philippines.
No ransom demand for her release has been made by the gunmen as police here continue their investigations and the Philippines security tries to ascertain her whereabouts.
They have yet to identify the armed group and are uncertain if the gunmen are in Tawi Tawi or Jolo islands in southern Philippines.
The gunmen struck the Pom Pom resort early on Friday, fatally shooting Chang's husband Hsu Li Min, 57, before abducting her to southern Philippines.
Philippines military Sulu Task Force commander Brig-Gen Jose Johriel Cenabre said there were no indications of the presence of the gunmen and Chang around the Tawi Tawi chain of islands or in Jolo.
"We have no information on their exact whereabouts and it is not certain if they are still in Tawi Tawi.
"There is no word of them reaching Jolo. We are still trying to track them down," he said when asked about talk that the gunmen had taken Chang out of Tawi-Tawi to Jolo island.
He said all his units had been alerted since the abduction was reported to them by their Malaysian counterparts.
Brig-Gen Cenabre said they believe the abduction was carried out by kidnap-for-ransom criminals, who were supposed to hand over Chang to an Abu Sayyaf group in Jolo.
"There are a number of these Abu Sayyaf factions in Jolo, each with their own commanders," he said when asked if the Abu Sayyaf group in Patikul town in Jolo had anything to do with Chang's abduction.
Abu Sayyaf commander Jul-Asman Sawadjaan and gunmen linked to him in Patikul have held kidnapped victims from Sabah.
Although the police suspect the latest incident at Pom Pom Island could have links to the Abu Sayyaf, they are not ruling out the possibility of other breakaway Moro groups involved.
Asked whether those who abducted Chang were the same group who seized a Sulu Provincial treasurer Jesus Cabelin in Patikul on Monday, Brig-Gen Cenabre said it was unlikely.
Brig-Gen Cenabre had been quoted in the Philippines media as saying that Cabelin was believed to have been taken by the group of Julli Ikit and Ninok Sappari.
Sappari has also been linked to several abductions in Jolo island.