ZAMBOANGA CITY — Government troops have safely rescued a Vietnamese sailor seized by Abu Sayyaf bandit more than nine months ago off Basilan province, a top military official announced Monday.
Rescued was Do Trung Huiqe, a crew of the Vietnamese bulk carrier, M/V Royal 16.
Rear Adm. Rene Medina, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) command chief, said Huiqe was rescued on Sunday in Mataja Island, Lantawan, Basilan province.
Medina said the troops were on special intelligence operation when they safely rescued Huiqe.
Medina said no firefight ensued as the Abu Sayyaf bandits fled upon sensing the presence of the troops that “opened a chance for rescue operations.”
The Abu Sayyaf bandits seized Huiqe and five others including the M/V Royal 16 skipper on November 11, 2016 in the vicinity of Coco Island, Basilan province.
Huiqe is the remaining hostage among the six crew the Abu Sayyaf have seized aboard the bulk carrier.
One of his companion managed to escape; two of them were killed; and, the other two were rescued by the government troops.
The M/V Royal 16, which was loaded with cement, was sailing to Davao City from Vietnam when the Abu Sayyaf bandits, aboard on speed boat, hijacked the bulk carrier.
Medina said Huiqe was taken to a military hospital for medical check-up and debriefing prior to his turnover to higher headquarters and eventually to the government of Vietnam. (TPGJR/PNA)