Malaysian hostage recounts Philippines escape – reports

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Photo by The Star-Asia News Network

KUALA LUMPUR – A Malaysian plantation manager held hostage by Philippine Muslim extremists said he escaped before dawn under the cover of a tropical downpour after almost nine months in abysmal conditions, reports said Sunday.

Tung Wei Jie, 26, who was seized in Sabah on Borneo Island last November together with his cousin, was found in the southern Philippine island of Jolo early this week and returned to Malaysia on Saturday.

Tung told local media in his uncle’s home in Port Dickson on the Straits of Malacca that he escaped in heavy rain from a bamboo hut in the jungle when his abductors, about 20 gunmen, went for pre-dawn prayers.

He and his cousin, Wei Fei, 34, who suffered from hypertension, had been taken away in April with the abductors, who demanded ransom from the family, claiming they would bring him to a hospital.

Tung said he did not know what happened to his cousin. Philippine police said on Tuesday that he died from illness.

“The hut was in the middle of nowhere. It was infested with mosquitoes. We each had one of our legs chained to the wooden pillars,” Tung was quoted by The Star as saying.

“After my cousin was taken away, I began using a fork to cut through a link in the iron chain. I succeeded after almost a month… I waited another month. And then I got the chance to escape,” he said.

Tung said he prayed for rain to escape unnoticed, adding he ran “through dense jungle for hours and hours” taking only short breaks until reaching a village.

Exhausted and dehydrated, he collapsed until the next day when a villager alerted the police.

Tung said he, his cousin and two other workers were at their palm oil plantation in Sabah’s Lahad Datu district in November when about half a dozen men – some armed with machine guns – appeared and ordered them to walk to the beach.

While the two workers were freed, the cousins were ordered aboard a speedboat.

They later boarded another boat to a small island, where they stayed five days, before being taken to Jolo, a known stronghold of the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf militant group.

While in captivity, they were only fed plain rice and some fried fish and not allowed to bathe for three months. There was no running water or electricity, Tung added.

“They were planning to shoot us or just dump us at sea” after securing ransom, he said, adding they overheard their captors’ discussion.

“It was very traumatizing,” the New Straits Times quoted him as saying.

Tung’s uncle said he only spoke briefly to his son, Tung’s cousin, in January and Tung on April 18.

AFP could not reach Tung or his family.

Philippine police have blamed the kidnapping on the Abu Sayyaf group, responsible for multiple bombings and mass kidnappings of foreigners.

In 2000, the group seized 21 mostly western holidaymakers from a resort at Sipadan in Sabah state. The hostages were later freed.

But Abu Sayyaf are still believed to be holding an unknown number of foreign and local hostages in the strife-torn southern Philippines.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • UrHONOR

    WALA na talagang solusyon dyan sa mga TNL na Abu Sayyaf kundi ang TOTAL AANIHILATION. Hindi na maka-tao ang pag-iisip ng mga *^%&$^%* na yan! Masahol pa hayop ang ginagawang perhuwisyo nyan hindi lang sa mga kapwwa-tao kundi sa bayan na mismo. Saliksikin ng helicopter yang mga yan at tirahin-ng-tirahin hanggang ga maubos ang bawat isa. Walang itira kahit na isang buhay.

  • Imeldita

    Greedy Muslims = chaos
    Greedy Christian = Napoles

    Pare pareho lang

  • kismaytami

    malayshits having a doze of their own medicine, or more likely done teaching IED making and terror training to their terror men in Mindanao.

    • walaywalay

      you mean training those FILIPINOS in mindinao

      • imapandareally

        Spot on!

        Fact is Malaysia wants these terrorists and any dirty politicians involved to be persecuted as much as anyone else. But jokers like kismaytami think Malaysia wanted to take over Philippines because oh Malaysia stole Sabah. =

    • reddfrog

      Bakit ba lahat ng kapitbahay ng Pilipinas kinakaaway?

      • Punyëtero»Ka

        Eto na naman si Sir Pervert, balak na namang ipasok yung pabilib sa panghihimasok dito ng PRC. Bistado ka na!

  • Simpleng_ofw

    Ah, hypocrisy! I bet these extremists don’t miss their morning, noon, and evening prayers while having in their bloody hands another human being suffering, dying.

    • walaywalay

      they are much like the Catholics who applauded and praised the RPCG and who voted the baby raper JOSLOSOS to office TWICE while serving a life sentence

  • pepito gwaps

    If the abu never stop terrorizing the civillians so terrorize them too. Sometimes a venum can cure a cancerous sickness. Our AFP must build a metal towers like that of Israel mounted at Gaza Strip, then put a 24 hours snipers who will monitor and shot the suspicious armed persons in all off limits areas. Any group moving suspiciously in that rebel infested area must be closely scrutinize by snipers and then must be shot dead. They cannot go out from their caves any further if it will be implemented. They will keep hiding for 24 hours for the fear of being shot.

    • walaywalay

      NAPALM BOMB the entire area after giving all residents 72 hour to clear out all who remain are considered supporters and sympathizers human shields are considered collateral damage thank you for giving your life to save your country give the family a hero plaque and a handshake

      • blue_lights

        If you do that, the ASG will just pretend to be “residents” and clear out with civilians, ready to kidnap another day.

  • BatangSingapore

    mabuti at binuhay pa ng mga abu sayyaf yan mga intsik na malaysian na yan. tama lang yan ng matuto sila sa katarantaduahn tinuro nila sa mga abusayyaf hahaaahaha.

    go mga ASG pag kidnappin nyo pa mga yan.

    • southDUDE

      Your troubled mind does not help heal this sick world.

      • BatangSingapore

        huwag ka ng umasa pa hangat may intsik sa mundo.

      • reddfrog

        Barbarian yan si BatangSingapore. Galit sa mundo dahil DH yan sa Singapore tagapunas ng wetpu.

  • blogger

    This province of Sulu is the breeding ground for terrorists. If the government wants to crush them, they should try to gain full control of this place by setting up lots of camps around the island manned by Christian soldiers.

  • WoBushi

    The lazy and uncreative PH gov’t is running out of better ideas in dealing with the Muslim insurgents, and the local issues in Sulu and and Zamboanga area. Too much partying in the so-called Christian dominated gov’t only breeds corruption and ersatz policies and ideas. To work harder and keep good and proper business ethics is key to reverse the apparent stupidity.

  • blue_lights

    The question… what was the useless government doing to try and find these hostages?

    It took him TWO MONTHS to get away, no thanks to the army or elected officials. What does baldy have to say about this?

  • divictes

    You sow them, you reap them.

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