ZAMBOANGA CITY – Military and police forces have rescued three Indonesian kidnap victims in South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, military officials announced Friday.
Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said the three Indonesians and a Filipino companion were rescued around 10:30 p.m. Thursday off Pasigan Island, South Ubian town.
Vinluan said the three Indonesians were identified as Riswanto Hayano, 27; Arizal Kastamiran, 29; and, Arsyad Dahalan, 41, the fishing boat skipper, while the Filipino companion is Sahud Salisim alias Ben Wagas based on the verification by the Marine Battalion Landing Team-6 (MBLT-6) troopers.
The three were among the five Indonesian fishermen the ASG bandits abducted from a Sabah-registered trawler on Jan. 16, 2020 in the waters between Tambisan and Kuala Meruap, Lahad Datu, Sabah, close to the Philippine Sea border.
The ASG bandits killed one of the five, La Baa, 32, who tried to escape, at the height of a clash with government troops on Sept. 29, 2020 in Barangay Maligay, Patikul, Sulu.
Brig. Gen. Arturo Rojas, 2nd Marine Brigade commander, said the ASG bandits sailed to Tawi-Tawi bringing along the captives aboard a junkong as they are evading the ongoing intensive military operations in Sulu.
However, Rojas, also the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi commander, said the jungkong, a locally-made motorboat, capsized after it was hit by big waves.
Another passenger of the jungkong, identified as Bensal Jakare from Indanan, Sulu, was rescued by a passenger vessel along Silandat Island, South Ubian.
Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said Salisim is a member of the ASG while Jakare’s involvement with the group is yet to be verified.
Rojas said the three rescued Indonesian fishermen and their missing companion were accompanied by five of their kidnappers when the jungkong they were riding capsized.
He said they have launched a search to rescue the missing Indonesian kidnap victim and the other passengers of the capsized jungkong.
The rescued Indonesians are undergoing debriefing facilitated by the MBLT-6 and police of Tanduas town, also in Tawi-Tawi. (PNA)