2 Malaysian tugboat crewmen rescued from Abu Sayyaf in Sulu
ZAMBOANGA CITY – The military on Thursday said it has “successfully rescued” two of the Malaysian tugboat crewmen held by Abu Sayyaf bandits since July 2016.
In a statement, Maj. Gen. Carlito Galvez of the Philippine Army said Malaysians Tayudin Anjut, 45, and Abdurahim Bin Sumas, 62, were freed after a “focused military operation” in Kalinggalang Caluang town in Sulu, particularly near Pata Island.
“The rescued kidnap victims are weak and in a sickly state when they were rescued by our troops. Military doctors are now attending to them,” Galvez said.
He said the focused military operation was conducted when the Marines got an information that Abu Sayyaf bandits had brought the two captives to Barangay Kudong.
Galvez did not say if a clash took place or the bandits were forced to abandon the captives.
Anjut and Sumas were among the five crew of the Tugboat Serudung 3, who were abducted off Lahad Datu on Sabah by the group of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Sibih Pissih.
Those still in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf were Fandy Bakran, 26; Mohamad Jumadil Rahim, 23; and Mohd Ridzuan Ismail, 32.
Galvez said the “continuous pressure through unrelenting combat operations” also led to the surrender of an Abu Sayyaf member in Sulu on Monday, while another bandit was captured by government troops in Basilan on Sunday.
He said 41-year-old Absara Mursalin Akbara, alias Talin Amsang, turned himself in on Monday and also surrendered an M-16 rifle in Talipao town.
“Akbara is a member of the ASG Sub-Group under Jihad Susukan, operating in the Municipalities of Talipao, Maimbong and Indanan of Sulu Province,” Galvez said.
He said Akbara feared he would be the next target of the military operations and yielded.
“He said that he no longer felt safe as communities have been tipping-off the sanctuaries and homes of Abu Sayyaf members,” Galvez claimed.
He said that in Basilan, an Abu Sayyaf member under Furudji Indama was arrested in Ungkaya Pukan town on Sunday.
“Nur’s location was reported by a concerned citizen from the same area where he was apprehended,” Galvez said.
He said the military will “continue the pressure and sustain the strategic alliance with our partners in eradicating the ASG menace and terror threats in Central and Western Mindanao.”
“For as long as the community and the local government units are with us in this fight, we will surely accomplish our mission at the soonest possible time. Together we can make things happen,” Galvez added. SFM/rga