Southern California man’s wife didn’t know he was in Manila |

Southern California man’s wife didn’t know he was in Manila

CORONA, Calif. (AP) – The wife of an American businessman kidnapped from a resort in the Philippines Sunday didn’t know her husband was out of the country, much less an abduction victim.

”It was a shock,” Fanny Sobero, 35, said during an interview at her home in a quiet suburb southeast of Los Angeles.

Her voice was low to prevent her three boys, ages 2,3 and 6, from overhearing the news about their father, Guillermo Sobero. They bounced on the living room couch, singing along to an ‘N Sync concert on television.

The couple are divorcing after seven years of marriage and selling the home they share. She last saw him on Wednesday, Mrs. Sobero said.

Sobero, who is Catholic, has a girlfriend in Manila who is a Muslim and who has been in contact with him ever since his last visit to the Philippines in January, Mrs. Sobero said.

Local police and military officials in Manila say two dozen masked gunmen raided the Dos Palmas Island Resort and fled by boat with about 20 hostages, including three Americans.

Filipino officials declined to speculate on the identity of the kidnappers. But talk has focused on Abu Sayyef, the Islamic rebel group that raided a Malaysian tourist resort and took 10 foreign tourists hostage on April 23, 2000. All those hostages were later freed, some reportedly for large ransoms paid by Libya.

Sobero was to celebrate his 40th birthday Tuesday. He and his wife, who are natives of Peru, run a floor waterproofing business.

Mrs. Sobero said her husband had told her Wednesday that he was leaving for Lake Havasu, Ariz., to celebrate his birthday with his brother and sister, she said.

Her face strained with worry, Mrs. Sobero said she had not been contacted by any government officials about the kidnapping and was relying on media reports to learn about her husband, she said.

”I am just worried for my kids,” she said as a television news crew banged on her front door. ”Is this what I can expect now?”

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