Troops arrest Abu Sayyaf kidnapper in Basilan

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/25 June) – Government troops arrested on Thursday an Abu Sayyaf  member who was involved in two kidnapping cases in the island province of Basilan, Col. Alex Macario, Special Operations Task Force-Basilan (SOTF-B) commander, said.

Macario said the suspect was arrested at around 3 p.m. Thursday in Lamitan City, Basilan.

He did not name the suspect but said “he is one of the four bandits who kidnapped Engr. Virgilio Fernandez.”

Fernandez,  project engineer of the Mace Construction Firm that is undertaking the concreting of the Colonia, Lamitan City-Buton, Mohammad Ajul section of the Basilan circumferential road,  was kidnapped on June 3 in Sitio Libi, Barangay Bulanting, Lamitan City and rescued by government troops on June 19 in Barangay Magcawa, Al-Barka town.

Aside from Fernandez, Macario said the suspect is also involved in the kidnapping of businesswoman Rose Baranda on November 2, 2010.

The Abu Sayyaf released Baranda on December 25, 2010 in the municipality of Al-Barka.

Macario said the suspect was arrested after he was spotted by military troops in Lamitan City.

The military and police have strengthened the security measures in Lamitan City, which is celebrating its founding anniversary on June 29.

The festival for Lamitan City’s founding anniversary, dubbed Lami-Lamihan Festival, started June 25. (MindaNews)