U.S. Peace Corps Worker Seized in Philippines

From Associated Press

The U.S. Embassy said today that Communist rebels had kidnaped an American Peace Corps volunteer and were holding him on the central island of Negros.

Last week, the United States recalled the 261 Peace Corps volunteers in the Philippines after intelligence reports indicated that Communist rebels might try to kill or kidnap the volunteers.

American authorities had said previously that all the volunteers were accounted for. The volunteers began leaving the Philippines on Friday.

U.S. officials identified the missing man as Timothy Swanson, 26, of Cheyenne, Wyo., who had been in the Philippines since February, 1988.

A retired Roman Catholic bishop said Swanson had been friendly with New People's Army guerrillas.

Embassy spokesman Stanley Schrager it was believed the volunteer was abducted June 13. He said the embassy had made unsuccessful attempts to contact Swanson when the withdrawal of the Peace Corps volunteers was announced.

Father Antonio Fortich, the retired Roman Catholic bishop of Negros, said in a telephone interview that Swanson's Filipino wife told him rebels had taken the volunteer from his home in the village of Patag. She said she was told to say nothing about the matter, he said.

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