Regional police say Wajir Arijani, alias Abu Maqtad, is being interrogated following his arrest in a hideout in the town of Santa Catalina.
Authorities say Arijani was involved in the kidnapping of Gerfa Yeats Lunsmann and her son Keven in July 2011 – the two were kidnapped from their beach home.
“The arrest was made after a long period of pursuit and surveillance operations by the intelligence community,” said local authorities.
Arijani is a known member of the Abu Sayyaf Group in the neighboring province of Basilan.
Lunsmann and her son were freed after their kidnapping, but only after a ransom was paid. They were on holiday vacation when the kidnapping occurred.
Lunsmann was born in Mindanao but was adopted by an American couple. She grew up in the United States where she worked as a veterinarian.