2 Indonesians rescued from Abu Sayyaf
MANILA, Philippines – Two Indonesians were rescued from the Abu Sayyaf Group in Panamao, Sulu, on Sunday morning, December 22, Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana said on the same day.
The military identified the two Indonesians as Maharudin Bin Lunai and Samiun Bin Maneu.
Troops from the 4th marine brigade were engaged in two firefights around 5 am Sunday, which led to the recovery of the two kidnapped Indonesians. Sobejana said troops were still trying to rescue one more Indonesian.
Sobejana said one soldier was killed and another was wounded during the fighting. Meanwhile, the body of one ASG member who was killed was retrieved along with two rifles.
Sobejana said the military was also trying to confirm the reported kidnapping of one Filipino.
"Yung local vina-validate natin mabuti kung talagang legitimate kidnap victim ba siya, dahil minsan may mga gumagawa lang ng gimik yung iba. Sa ngayon nakatutok tayo sa tatlong Indonesian. Na-cordone na natin yung area so we are very optimistic na nakuha pa natin itong isang remaining," he told reporters in an interview Sunday.
(We are trying to validate if the local is a legitimate kidnap victim because sometimes others do it as a gimmick. Right now, we're focused on the 3 Indonesians. We've cordoned the area so we are very optimistic we can rescue the last one remaining.)
Sobejana said the 3 Indonesians were kidnapped somewhere near the boundaries of Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines near Sabah. After they were kidnapped, they were taken to Jolo, Sulu. The ASG is notorious for kidnap-for-ransom runs in the loosely guarded waters in this area.
The military was likewise still trying to validate which ASG group led the kidnapping as additional forces were deployed to rescue the remaining kidnapped Indonesian.
Sobejana said rescue efforts were in line with the government's goal to stamp out the ASG and its two key leaders Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan and Radulan Sahiron. – Rappler.com