Naval force deployed off Tawi-tawi in rescue of 2 abducted European tourists | Global News

Naval force deployed off Tawi-tawi in rescue of 2 abducted European tourists

/ 04:22 PM February 02, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines deployed a naval force in Tawi-Tawi as part of security measures and effort to rescue two European bird watchers who were abducted by still unidentified “lawless elements” late Wednesday, a military spokesman said Thursday.

In a press briefing held at Camp Aguinaldo, AFP spokesman Arnulfo Burgos Jr. said that the Philippine Navy Task Force 62 had been deployed to augment the Philippine National Police (PNP) in securing the waters off Tawi-tawi, an island province. According to Ivan Sarenas, the Filipino guide who escaped the kidnappers, they were being taken to Sulu on board a boat when he managed to jump off and escape his captors.

Burgos said Task Force 62 is composed of patrol ships and a patrol gunboat, escorted by members of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 5. Nevertheless, Burgos said that the Philippine National Police is the lead agency conducting the investigation in the latest kidnapping incident in Mindanao.


Meanwhile, Burgos said that they were not discounting the possibility that members of the Abu Sayyaf bandit group abducted the two European bird watchers identified by the PNP as Swiss national Lorenzo Vinciguerra, 47, and Dutchman Ewold Horn, 52.


“Posible, tinitingnan natin lahat… (It’s possible [they are Abu Sayyaf bandits], we’re looking at all angles. For the meantime, [we can say they’re] lawless elements and then of course titingnan din natin kung (we will see if) it’s also perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf . We will look into everything…. For the meantime, they’re lawless elements and then of course we will look if it was also perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf,” Burgos told members of the media. However, he said that the final confirmation shall come from the lead investigating authority, which is the PNP.

Vinciguerra and Horn were on a bird-watching trip in Sitio (settlement) Look-look, in the village of Parangan in Panglima Sugala town where they were abducted at around 1 p.m. Wednesday.

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TAGS: Abduction, Military, Netherlands, Philippines, rescue, Switzerland

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