ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/6 Oct) – Combined government forces have rescued today a health worker kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf bandits more than two months ago in the island province of Sulu, police said.
Director Felicisimo Khu, chief of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO)-West, said the victim, Evangeline Taverisma, was rescued around 6 a.m. today (Thursday) in the boundary of Indanan and Parang towns.
Taverisma, 55, a midwife by profession and assigned at the health center of Barangay Tagbak in Indanan, was kidnapped last August 3.
Taverisma, whose husband is a retired soldier, was on her way to the health center when a group of Abu Sayyaf bandits led by Nasir Timbang and a certain Commander Palau kidnapped her.
Khu said police forces swooped down Barangay Lanaw Dakula, Parang municipality when the kidnap victim and her captors were monitored “moving in a coconut field.”
The kidnappers fled towards Barangay Kupong in Indanan but were blocked by members of the Civilian Volunteer Organization (CVO) led by Indanan Mayor Saripuddin Jikiri, Khu said.
He said the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers tried to fight back but were overpowered by government troopers, forcing the captors to flee, leaving behind Taverisma.
Khu said the victim was later taken to the Sulu provincial hospital for medical check-up.
Taverisma’s rescue has brought down to four the number of hostages still in captivity in the province of Sulu. They are Mohammad Nasaruddin Bin Saidin, 38, a Malaysian gecko trader; Biju Kolara Veetil, 36, an Indian national married to a Sulu native; and fishing boat crew Renato Penisales and Wennie Ferrer.
Nasaruddin was kidnapped last May 8 in Barangay Kajatian, Indanan town while Veetil was seized last June 22 in Barangay Tempok, Patikul municipality.
Penisales and Ferrer, the boat captain and assistant engineer, respectively, of Mega 8 light boat of the Zamboanga City-based Mega Fishing Corporation, were kidnapped last March 19 near Menes Island, Panglima Tahil town. (MindaNews)