Three Abu Sayyaf members killed, De Lima unharmed in hostage situation
Former Senator Leila De Lima survived a hostage taking after three prisoners, all Abu Sayyaf members, under the custodial center of the Philippine National Police (PNP) stabbed a policeman in an attempt to escape on Sunday morning.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr told a press conference that all three were Abu Sayyaf members facing crimes ranging from kidnap-for-ransom, murder, frustrated murder and attempted murder.
Brig. Gen. Roderick Alba, PNP spokesman, said they were all killed while de Lima was unharmed.
PNP chief General Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said over dzBB, the incident lasted ''a little over 30 minutes.''
Alba said based on the initial report Corporal Roger Agustin was delivering breakfast for the detainees at the maximum compound when he was grabbed and stabbed by Abu Sayyaf members Idang Susukan, Arnel Cabintoy and Feliciano Sulayan in his head and body around 6:30 am.
Petrolman Lorenz Matiaz, duty tower officer who saw the commotion immediately shot the three suspects resulting in the death of Cabintoy and Susukan. Sulayao ran towards the custodial cell of De Lima and held her hostage.
Col. Mark Pespes, director of the Headquarters Support Services, was talking to Sulayao, who held a knife close to the chest of the blindfolded De Lima, when he asked him for water.
Pespes was reaching for water but at the right moment, he took out his gun with his right hand and shot Sulayao, said Abalos.
Pespes, in the same press conference, said he was talking to Sulayao for 10 to 15 minutes but ''it was becoming a dangerous situation''.
''We were fortunate,'' he said.
Senator de Lima is now safe while the police officer who was stabbed was rushed to the hospital for treatment, said Alba.
Alba saidinvestigation is ongoing to review the security protocols inside the PNP Custodial Center.
De Lima's brother, Vicente, said in his Twitter account: '' "We continue to pray for her safety and immediate release. We pray too for the injured and hospitalized."
Boni Tacardon, her lawyer, told Teleradyo that based on reports, the suspects had improvised knives. DMS/Robina Asido