ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 28 March) — All five Malaysian crewmen who were kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf on July 19, 2016 in Lahad, Datu, Sabah have been accounted for with the rescue of the remaining three captives Sunday night at the boundary of Talipao and Panglima Estino towns in Sulu, three days after the rescue of their two companions in Kalinggalang Caluang town, the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) said.
The five Malaysian crewmen of Tugboat Serudung 3 were kidnapped at sea on July 19, 2016 in Dent Haven, Tambisan, Lahad Datu, Sabah by the Abu Sayyaf.
Colonel Cirilito Sobejana, commander of Joint Task Force-Sulu (Joint TF-S) identified the rescued Malaysians as Mohammad Jumadil Rahim, Mohammad Ridzuan Bin Ismail and Fandy Bin Bakran.
A press release from the WestMinCm said “days of unrelenting massive search and rescue operations by sea, air, and land units” of Joint TF-S led to the rescue at the boundary of Sitio Kasanyangan Brgy Tuyang, Talipao, and Brgy Jinggan, Panglima Estino, Sulu Province.
Sobejana said he dispatched all available resources to pursue the Abu Sayyaf following the information revealed by the two Malaysian crewmen rescued last Thursday.
“We are overwhelmed by the support we are receiving from the different organizations and entities that led to these recent successes,” Sobejana said, adding they will “continue to exert all means to rescue all the kidnap victims that are still being held captive by these bandits.”
WestMinCom chief Major General Carlito Galvez, Jr, said the rescue of the five victims in a span of three days “indicates the people are coming together to go against the bandits and no longer want them in their communities.”
He urged residents to continue supporting them in their mission.
The three Malaysians were immediately brought to the Kuta Heneral Teodolfo Bautista Station Hospital in Jolo, Sulu for check-up. (MindaNews)