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Another Indonesian held by ASG freed


Another Indonesian abducted by the Abu Sayyaf Group was released by his captors in Sulu, the military disclosed yesterday.

Army Major Filemon I. Tan Jr., spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command, identified the Indonesian as Herman Bin Manggak, 38.

Manggak was the sixth Indonesian freed since President Duterte assumed office and ordered an intensified rescue operation for ASG kidnap victims.

The victim was released to the Moro National Liberation Front and handed over to the AFP Joint Task Force Sulu at about 11 a.m. yesterday.

Manggak was abducted by armed men suspected to be ASG bandits off the waters of Sandakan, Sabah last August 3.

Tan said the victim was taken to Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in Zamboanga City for medical examination and debriefing before he was turned over to proper authorities at the Western Mindanao Command.

Manggak asked for food and recounted how government troops nearly rescued him three times as they engaged the ASG in fierce gun battles.

“Western Mindanao Command emphasizes the efforts of Joint Task Force Sulu troops in conducting continuous focused military operations to track down and destroy the Abu Sayyaf Group responsible for the series of kidnappings and atrocities in the area,” Tan said.

Brig. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, said the release of the victim was the result of relentless focused military operations combined with efforts of different sectors, particularly the local government unit of Sulu, and other stakeholders. (FRANCIS T. WAKEFIELD)