COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/ 7 July) — Two Vietnamese nationals who had been held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan were found dead on Wednesday, military officials said Thursday.
The decapitated bodies of Hoang Trung Thong and Hoang Va Hai, both among the six kidnapped crew members of the MV Royal 16 cargo vessel, were found in Brgy. Tumahubong, Sumisip town in Basilan by a resident.
The victims were kidnapped last November 11, 2016 at sea southeast of Sibago Island, Basilan.
“The bodies were found at 5:40 in the morning by a member of the local populace,” said Colonel Juvymax Uy, the Commander of the Joint Task Force Basilan.
“The cadavers will be made to undergo forensic exams as coordination with the Vietnamese embassy is also simultaneously done,” he added.
Police in Basilan were getting information on the details of the incident, the statement said.
“We grieve as we strongly condemn the barbaric beheading of another kidnap victims in Basilan Province. For months now, many sectors in the society, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PNP exhausted all efforts to rescue these kidnap victims who are still in the hands of the ASG,” said Lieutenant General Carlito G Galvez, Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom).
“WestMinCom commiserates with the bereaved family and friends of the slain victims. In no way does the Abu Sayyaf Group represent our Muslim brothers who are true followers of the Islam,” Galvez said.
The other Vietnamese kidnap victims were identified as Pham Minh Tuan, Do Trung Hieu, Hoang Vo and Tran Khac Dung.
In June, operating troops of JTF Basilan rescued Hoang Vo in So Kumonal, Sampinit Complex, Sumisip, the statement said. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)