MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine authorities say gunmen who kidnapped a Chinese tourist and a Filipino worker at a Malaysian resort have brought their captives to an island township in the Philippines’ southernmost province.

President Benigno Aquino III’s spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, cited a military report Friday saying the kidnappers, believed to be Abu Sayyaf militants, brought the two women to Simunul in Tawi-Tawi province. The women were seized late Wednesday from the Singamata Reef Resort in Semporna district in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah. The resort is popular with Chinese tourists.

Regional military spokeswoman Capt. Rowena Muyuela says a naval task force is searching for the gunmen and their captives around Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. Those three provinces comprise scores of islands southwest of Manila where the militants operate.