Quantcast
Latest Stories

Diver recounts escape from Tawi-Tawi kidnappers

By

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—Ivan Sarenas held his breath as long as he could as he swam underwater in Tawi-Tawi Wednesday night to escape gunmen who had earlier abducted him and fellow birdwatchers Ewold Horn of the Netherlands  and Lorenzo Vinciguerra of Switzerland.

“I saw an opportunity in the darkness of the night to escape by jumping off the boat. I held my breath as long as I could and swam away,” Sarenas told the Inquirer by phone.

He said his experience in skindiving helped him in his escape. Skindiving is a form of swimming under water without the use of a diving helmet or special diving suit and divers using this technique learn to hold their breath longer than other individuals.

Sarenas said his being familiar with the waters of Tawi-Tawi also contributed to his successful escape. He was a regular visitor to the island province and, weeks before accompanying Horn and Vinciguerra there, Sarenas said he also went there along with several other foreigners for some bird-watching.

Sarenas said he was plucked out of sea by several fishermen near Languyan Island, 57 kilometers from Panglima Sugala, where the abduction took place.

He was then taken to the Languyan police station, where he was later fetched by Senior Superintendent Rodelio Jocson, Tawi-Tawi police director.

Sarenas said he was not completely happy about his escape because he was worried  about Horn, 52,  and Vinciguerra, 47.

Horn and Vinciguerra are museum staffers in their respective countries and are involved in animal conservation, he said.

Sarenas said what lured the two foreigners to Tawi-Tawi, as with others who came before them, were the Tawi-Tawi hornbill  and rare birds.

“They went to Tawi-Tawi sometime in 1994 but they were refused access to the area to see the hornbills, so when they got permission, they immediately came over,” he said.

The two foreigners were also documenting several other species found only in Tawi-Tawi, such as cock owls and brown doves.

They spent 14 days to document the species.

“I guess our movement had already been monitored, nabantayan na siguro kami,” Sarenas said.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Crime , Foreign affairs , Kidnapping , Police , Tawi-Tawi

  • Anonymous

    istupido lang ang turistang pupunta ng tawi tawi.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Healing priest invites political leaders to join ‘prayer for nation’
  • Tagle: Christ’s resurrection a message of hope to faithful
  • Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  • Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  • Nepal calls off search for missing guides on Everest—official
  • Sports

  • Rain or Shine grabs No.4, sends Ginebra to 8th
  • Red-hot Alaska rips injury-depleted San Mig Coffee
  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Lifestyle

  • Angono petroglyphs in danger of disappearing
  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Supper power
  • Condo unit sales boosted Shang Properties earnings
  • ERC mulls over WESM price cap for May, June
  • Whatever happened to the ubiquitous pagers?
  • Huge 2013 net profits seen difficult to surpass in 2014
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Marketplace