Sustained operations by the Joint Task Force Sulu resulted in the rescue of a kidnap victim from the hands of Abu Sayyaf terror group in Sulu on Thursday.
Lt. Gen. Arnel de la Vega, commander of the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom), said Jose Duterte, 66, was saved by elements of the Marine Base Landing Team 3 and intelligence operatives under the Philippine Marine Ready Force-Sulu in Barangay Kandyok, Panamao at around 1:30 p.m.
De la Vega relayed the troops conducted intensified rescue operation in the area — providing Duterte the opportunity to move away from his captors and into the hands of his rescuers.
Duterte was brought to Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital for medical check-up and custodial debriefing prior to his turnover to headquarters and his family.
“The positive intelligence build-up, close monitoring and constant pressure to the ASG led to the safe rescue of Mr. Duterte,” De la Vega said.
“This operational accomplishment is attributed to our soldiers on the ground who made this possible,” he added.
Duterte and his wife were abducted by seven unidentified armed men from their residence in Sitio Tabuk, Barangay Sta. Maria, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte on 3 March 2017.
Intelligence reports revealed Duterte was held captive by the Abu Sayyaf Group under ASG sub-leader Injam Yadah.
The ASG is still holding about 10 hostages in Sulu and Basilan, including foreign nationals.
Meanwhile, three members of CAFGU Active Auxillary (CAA) were confirmed dead after the landslide last Tuesday in Natonin, Mountain Province.
Two members of CAA are still missing.
According to the commanding Officer of 77 Infantry Battalion, Lt. Col. Rembert Baylosis, the five were working as laborers in the building buried in mud at the height of typhoon “Rosita.”
“Our five CAA members went to work at the Department of Public Works and Highways project in the area as laborers and skilled workers,” Baylosis said.
“Just for the sake of those who do not know, our CAFGU personnel only work for 15 days every month and the remaining days are free for the CAA to earn additional income for their families,” Baylosis added.
The three were identified as Leobel Orchilion, Linang Pallichang and Jonanthan Ngilin. The two missing were still unidentified at press time.
Government forces are helping in the retrieval operations, according to Maj. Gen. Perfecto Rimando Jr.
Eight bodies have been recovered, including those of the three CAA members and 20 more persons are still missing.
With Kathleen Mae Bulquerin