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ASG frees 2 gov’t drivers


Two drivers regained their freedom Sunday night, a day after being abducted by armed men believed to be members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

Army Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, chief of the Armed Forces (AFP) Joint Task Force Sulu, identified the freed captives as Alriznor Halis of Luuk, Sulu and Aljimar Ahari of Indanan, Sulu.

The victims, contractual employees of the Department of Public Works and Highways-ARMM, were abducted Saturday in Sitio Bsunoh Bangkal, Barangay Bangkal, Patikul, Sulu.

Sobejana said the victims were released at 8:30 p.m., near the same spot where they were taken.

The Army general said it is possible that the ASG took the victims to use them as human shields and get ransom from their families.

However, the father of one of the victims said they don’t have the means to pay the ransom.

“According to the father of one of the victims, the terrorists were reportedly asking P2 million for the safe release of the victim. But the father told them that he had no money, even P20,” Sobejana said.

“When they failed to get any money, they just freed them. We are also not discounting the possibility that they intended to use the victims as human shields but that did not also work out,” he said.

Sobejana said the victims were rescued by soldiers from the 35th Infantry Battalion.

He said the Abu Sayyaf is still holding 19 hostages in Sulu.