ARMM guv condemns kidnapping of engineer in Sulu

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.

February 15, 2018, 5:47 pm

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman views a picture shown to him by a resident during an outreach program in Barangay Macalang, Al-Barka, Basilan. Macalang was then known as haven of the Abu Sayyaf bandits in the province and was cleared by continuous military offensive. (PNA file photo by: Teofilo P. Garcia, 


ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on Thursday strongly condemned the kidnapping of an engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highways in ARMM (DPWH-ARMM).

Enrico Nee of Sulu’s first engineering district was seized at around 7:45 a.m. Wednesday in Barangay San Raymundo, Jolo, Sulu.

Nee was waiting for a tricycle about 20 meters away from his residence when a lone gunman approached and forced him to board on a waiting Tamaraw-type jeep that sped towards Barangay Anuling, Patikul municipality.

“The regional government of ARMM condemns in the strongest possible term the kidnapping of an engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Sulu,” Hataman said in a statement through the region’s Bureau of Public Information (BPI-ARMM).

“Should this be the case, the local terror group now holds 10 hostages captive,” Hataman noted as the military reported that members Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) are behind the incident.

The other hostages included five foreigners--three Indonesians, one Vietnamese and one Dutch--and four Filipinos, the ASG members have seized in separate occasions.

Hataman called on the security sector to intensify the ongoing anti-terror campaign in the country, and “to heighten efforts in protecting employees who dedicate their life in serving the people of Sulu by implementing infrastructure and public works related projects in the region.”

Last January 31, two DPWH-ARMM employees were killed while two others were wounded when members of the ASG ambushed them in Barangay Baas, Lamitan City, Basilan province.

An improvised bomb exploded and damaged the perimeter fence of Eng’r Soler Undug’s residence on February 1 in Purok Yakal, Barangay San Rafael, Isabela City, Basilan.

Another improvised bomb was recovered on the same day at the residence of Eng’r. Bong Lasatan in Catleya Drive, Barangay Aguada, Isabela City.

Undug is the district engineer of DPWH-ARMM in Basilan while Lasatan is the assistant provincial engineer of the same province.

Military and police authorities tagged the Abu Sayyaf bandits as the ones behind the two incidents.

“Local terror groups have been known to specifically target government employees, especially those involved in implementing infrastructure projects, because their good work enables better law enforcement as easier access to terrorist lairs are paved across the islands, making it difficult for terrorists to move around undetected,” Hataman said.

“We also ask our ARMM residents to stay vigilant, and to help our security forces by immediately reporting any suspicious persons or activities in their area,” he added.

Despite the incidents, the ARMM governor said they remain steadfast in its commitment to building a better Bangsamoro for the people, “as we continue to work towards providing the needed infrastructure and services needed in areas that need it the most.” (PNA)