Four seized from cargo vessel in Basilan after Abu Sayyaf frees two Malaysians
Zamboanga City ? Armed men abducted four people from a cargo vessel hijacked on Thursday off Basilan province, , a Coast Guard official said.
This happened after the Abu Sayyaf released in Sulu also on Thursday two Malaysians, who were described by a top military official as being “sickly”.
Lt. Commander Alvin Dagalea, Zamboanga Coast Guard Station Commander, said two victims from the Basilan incident were identified as Aurelio Agacac and Laurencio Tiro.
Dagalea said Super Shuttle Roro 9 was traveling at 26 nautical miles east of Matangal, Basilan and 19 nautical miles off Sibago Island when it was intercepted by the gunmen on three speed boats.
Super Shuttle Roro 9 plies the Cebu-General Santos route.
Rescued earlier were Tayudin Anjut, 45, and Abdurahim Bin Sumas, 62, said Major General Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief.
Captain Jo-Ann Petinglay, Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said the troops of Marine Battalion Landing Team 1 and 3 conducted rescue after receiving information about the transfer of the Malaysian kidnap victims under Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Alhabsy Misaya from the mangrove area in Barangay Karungdong in Kalinggalang Caluang to Pata Island, Sulu.
Petinglay said troops found the victims on a small boat off the waters of Kalinggalang Caluang near Pata Island, Sulu around 2am.
Petinglay said Anjut and Sumas were among five Malaysian crewmen of Tugboat Serudung 3 abducted at the waters of Dent Haven, Tambisan, Lahad Datu, Sabah by the group of Abu Sayyaf bandits under sub-leader Sibih Pissih on July 19, 2016.
“They were reported missing after their tugboat and barge were recovered without crew members in Tanjung Labian, Lahad Datu Sabah,” she said.
Galvez said the rescue was made possible after the Marines maximized their intelligence monitoring following the successful operation in Capual Island last February 7, where eight Abu Sayyaf members under Misaya were killed.
“WestMinCom troops are continuing pursuit against the kidnap for ransom groups to rescue the remaining kidnap victims and continue the pressure on the Abu Sayyaf to release their hostages and possibly for them to surrender to authorities,” he said.
Col. Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force Sulu Commander said despite the rescue of the two Malaysians, the Abu Sayyaf are holding a total of 28 kidnap victims. DMS/Robina Asido