The combat operations conducted by the Joint Task Force Basilan under Colonel Juvymax Uy resulted in the rescue of a Vietnamese crewman held by the Abu Sayyaf Group for more than seven months.
Hoang Vo, a crew member of MV Royal 16, was recovered by operating troops at the Sumisip-Ungkaya Pukan Complex, following an airstrike launched against the group of Furudji Indama in Basilan at around 8:30am today (June 16).
Vo escaped from the hands of the Abu Sayyaf members, who dispersed due to the airstrike and artillery fires delivered by the troops.
The rescued victim was promptly given medical attention by the medical team of the Joint Task Force Basilan and is currently in stable condition.
“Vo, 28 years old and a resident of Nghe An, Vietnam, was found by our troops with a wound on his back,” said Colonel Uy.
“We continually put pressure to these remaining bandits in order to force them to surrender or release their victims,” he added.
The victim was abducted by the Abu Sayyaf on southeast of Sibago Island in Basilan on November 11, 2016.
The Abu Sayyaf is holding 26 captives, 21 of whom are in Sulu and five of whom are in Basilan. Vo was held, along with five other Vietnamese nationals, by the Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf members.
Meanwhile, joint operations of the military and police yielded to the neutralization of two members of the Abu Sayyaf and kidnap for ransom groups after the latter resisted arrest in Tawi-Tawi yesterday (June 15).
Soldiers of the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi, under Brigadier General Custodio Parcon, Jr., and composite elements of the police launched a law enforcement operation against remnants of the group of the deceased Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Abraham Hamid.
A brief exchange of gunfire ensued after the bandits resisted arrest, killing two Abu Sayyaf members, who were identified as Hamid Mohammad and Altasil Lakbaoin.
Said operation was conducted in Attubig Tanah, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi at around 9pm yesterday.
Law enforcement support operations are continuously being launched by the Task Force, in coordination with the police and the local government, to pre-empt illegal activities in the province.
“We believe that this operational accomplishment will leave no other option but to force remnants of the Abu Sayyaf members in Tawi-Tawi to return to the fold of the law and join the cause of the government against terrorism,” said Lieutenant General Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
Since January 1, 2017, 83 Abu Sayyaf members were killed in the all-out military campaign against terrorism in Western Mindanao. Of this number, 14 were killed in Basilan, 62 in Sulu, and seven in Tawi-Tawi.
“We congratulate our troops from the Joint Task Forces all over Western Mindanao,” added Lieutenant General Galvez.
“I take great pride in their dedication as our fight against these terror groups continue to reap positive results.”