Last of four kidnapped DSWD workers freed

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/23 July) – Kidnappers freed late Tuesday evening the last of four government workers abducted in Patikul Sulu on July 17.

Senior Supt. Abraham Orbita, Sulu police director, said Robert Saputalo was freed around 10 p.m. Tuesday in Barangay Danag, Patikul town and walked several hours until he was recovered by police officers in Barangay Kagay in neighboring Talipao town.

Saputalo and three other workers of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DSWD-ARMM) were conducting a survey for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) when they were seized by alleged Abu Sayyaf members in Barangay Upper Sinumaan, Patikul on July 17.

Saputalo’s three companions were earlier freed separately — Lerma Jurah on July 18 in Barangay Danag, Patikul; and Agustino Sicangco and his wife, Nurhati, in the afternoon of last July 19 also in Barangay Danag, Patikul.

Orbita said Saputalo was taken to the provincial headquarters and later was brought to the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) for medical check-up.

He said Saputalo was released “due to the pressure of law enforcement operations by the security sector and the local government units.” (MindaNews)