Abducted policewomen freed, presented to Duterte

JOLO, Sulu -- The two policewomen who were abducted some two weeks ago in Sulu by suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members were rescued on May 19 and were formally turned over to President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City.

The two Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel were rescued with the assistance of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chair Nur Misuari, who was reportedly personally requested earlier by the President to help in the captives safe return.

RESCUED. Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza with the two policewomen who were rescued from their abductors on Saturday (May 19, 2018). The two were kidnapped last April 29 in the town of Patikul by suspected Abu Sayyaf members. (Photo courtesy of OPAPP)

Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza, accompanied by Misuari, personally fetched the two PNP officers in Jolo on Saturday.

Also present during the handover were AFP Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez , PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde, and Sulu Task Force head Gen. Cirilito Sobejana.

“Since day one, President Duterte instructed us to work on the safe release of the victims,” he said.

Police Officer 2 Benierose Alvarez and Police Officer 1 Dinah Gumahad, along with two civilians, were abducted by armed men on April 29 in the town of Patikul.

They had just come from Camp Teofilo Bautista near the Jolo Airport when their tricycle was waylaid by suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group.

Authorities in Sulu said the two police officers underwent medical examination and military debriefing.

Sobejana said military operations have been heightened to rescue the remaining kidnap victims in the island.

Last week, a number of Abu Sayyaf members were killed following a rescue attempt by the military. (OPAPP PR)