ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/19 June) – Government forces on Sunday rescued an engineer who was kidnapped more than two weeks ago by the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan, Col. Alex Macario, commander of the Special Operations Task Force-Basilan (SOTF-B), said.
The rescue of Engr. Virgilio Fernandez, a project engineer of Mace Construction Firm, brought down to two the number of captives in the hands of the Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf.
Macario said Fernandez was rescued by a joint special intelligence operations around 9 a.m. in Barangay Magcawa, Al-Barka town.
He said no firefight ensued as the Abu Sayyaf bandits holding Fernandez captive fled when the troops swooped down on a suspected bandits’ hideout in Barangay Magcawa.
He said Fernandez was immediately taken to the Valentine Detachment of the SOTF-B in downtown Tipo-Tipo municipality for initial debriefing.
Fernandez was seized by four Abu Sayyaf bandits on June 3 in Sitio Libi, Barangay Bulanting Lamitan City while he and other workers of Mace Construction Firm were returning from the project site to their temporary office in the city of Lamitan.
Fernandez is supervising the concreting of the Colonia, Lamitan City to Buton, Mohammad Ajul section of the circumferential road in Basilan.
Two of the four bandits were identified as Musana Jamiri and Muhmin Jamiri alias Boy all followers of Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf leader Nurhassan Jamiri.
The two captives who are still in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan are Filipino-Chinese businessman Largio Tam Delos Santos and a 16-year old boy.
The Abu Sayyaf bandits kidnapped Delos Santos last December 16 from his resort in Barangay Lanote, Isabela City, the capital of Basilan province.
The 16-year old boy, who was reported missing last May 16, is being held captive in the hinterlands of Tuburan town. (MindaNews)