MANILA—Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año attributed the successful rescue of three Malaysian tugboat sailors from the clutches of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) Sunday to teamwork among the operating ground units in Sulu.
He added that recovery of the victims unharmed shows that the military units in the ground are in the right track when it comes to development information in rescuing hostages held by the bandit group.
As of this posting, Año placed the number of ASG hostages to 20 and expressed confidence that many more will be recovered in the coming days.
“We have the capability to conduct successful rescue operation and we are developing more target packages to rescue other remaining foreign hostages as well as local kidnap victims,” he added.
Earlier, the Western Mindanao Command (WMC) announced that its Joint Task Force-Sulu have successfully rescued three Malaysian seafarers who were kidnapped by the ASG last year.
These victims were recovered at the boundary of Sitio Kasanyangan Barangay Tuyang, Talipao, and Barangay Jinggan, Panglima Estino, Sulu.
They were identified as Mohammad Jumadil Rahim; Mohammad Ridzuan Bin Ismail; and, Fandy Bin Bakran.
The three were among the five Malaysian crewmen of Tugboat Serudung 3 kidnapped last July 19, 2016 at vicinity sea waters of Dent Haven, Tambisan, Lahad Datu, Sabah by the group of ASG sub-leader Berham Lutian alias “Vietnam”.