MANILA – The military yesterday reported that the remaining hostage of the Abu Sayyaf, Dutchman Ewold Horn, is still alive and has not died due to a disease.
Commander of Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero said that he believes that Horn is still being held by the group in the mountains of Patikul.
Swiss national Lorenzo Vinciguerra, Horn’s fellow hostage, escaped the group after hacking his guard in the jungles of Patikul last Saturday.
Guerrero noted that his claim was supported by Vinciguerra’s story during a debriefing.
“Vinciguerra revealed that Horn was too weak to join him in his escape. No report whatsoever of Horn succumbing to an ailment,” Guerrero said.
Horn and Vinciguerra were abducted by the Abu Sayyaf last February 1, 2012 in Tawi-Tawi. They were accompanied by their Filipino guide Ivan Sarenas who escaped and jumped into the sea as they were being transported to Sulu.
Vinciguerra was able to escape on Saturday when security forces launched offensives against the bandits. He grabbed hold of the Abu Sayyaf’s weapon and used it to hack his neck.
Security officials found him Vinciguerra in Barangay Timpook in Patikul, Sulu. He was immediately brought to Camp Navarro Hospital in Zamboanga City.
According to Vinciguerra, Horn is still alive but weak.
“We believe Horn is still alive along with other kidnap victims,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero added that all necessary pursuit operations against the bandits are ongoing in a bid to free all the remaining hostages.
Meanwhile, military and police security forces heightened their monitoring operations to prevent Abu Sayyaf bandits from entering Zamboanga City.
Commander of the Joint Task Group Zamboanga (JTGZ) Col. Andrelino Colina, commander of the Joint Task Group Zamboanga (JTGZ) said that they are closely monitoring any and all diversionary attacks of the group.