ZAMBOANGA CITY – An Indonesian national, one of the six sailors of Tugboat Charles kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was able to escape early yesterday morning in Luuk, Sulu.
Armed Forces of the Philippines, Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) Spokesman Maj. Filemon Tan, Jr., identified the Indon national as Mohammad Sayfan, 28, one of the six crews of Tugboat Charles.
Sayfan and five of his companions were kidnapped by the ASG at the high seas of Tawi-Tawi bordering the Philippine and Malaysia waters last June 23, 2016.
Sayfan was able to escape his ASG after they kept him at the mangrove area of Barangays Bual and Bato-Itum both located in the town of Luuk in Sulu province.
Sayfan told authorities he tried to escape after learning about the ASG’s plans of beheading him.
Sayfan was seen by the residents floating and was trapped in fishnets along the coast of Barangays Bual and Bato-Itum both located in the town of Luuk about 7:30 am yesterday.
The residents immediately rescued Sayfan and brought him to the Luuk Municipal Hall.
Tan said Sayfan will be brought to the Sulu Provincial Police Office for processing and other documentation prior to eventual turnover to his family.
Troops of the Joint Task Force Sulu were directed to scour the area and use all available assets to possibly locate the remaining kidnap victims and conduct operations to rescue them.
Meanwhile the ASG remains unperturbed with the threat of extermination from President Duterte after the terror group kidnapped a public elementary school teacher in the town of Patikul in Sulu province.
A military report reaching this city identified the victim as Edrina Manalas Bonsil, a public school teacher of Tuup Elementary School in the village of Taung in Patikul town.
The report said that five fully armed member of the ASG kidnapped Bonsil about 8 am, Tuesday while she was on her way to the elementary school where she was teaching.
According to the report, Bonsil was on board a passenger vehicle when upon reaching a seclude area of sitio Kampuli, armed members of the ASG appeared and flagged down the jeepney and forcibly took Bonsil out of the vehicle.
(NONOY E. LACSON)