Suspected communist rebels abducted five police officers responding to an attack on a government militia detachment in the southern Philippines, a police spokesman said Monday.
A joint team of policemen and soldiers have been dispatched to hunt down the guerrillas and rescue the police officers, said Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor, a national police spokesman.
The police officers were on their way to back up a military unit in Davao City, 990 kilometres south of Manila, which was being raided by a group of communist rebels on Saturday.
But they were intercepted by another set of guerrillas and taken as prisoners, Mayor said.
A communist rebel spokesman said the police officers were being held for investigation of alleged crimes against the people.
Communist rebels have been fighting the Philippine government since the late 1960s, making the movement one of the longest-running leftist insurgencies in Asia.
They have in the past abducted and killed police officers, soldiers and government officials for allegedly commiting crimes against the masses.