Troops rescue 2 kidnap victims in Sulu

By Ely Dumaboc

November 2, 2018, 8:40 pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Government troops have rescued two kidnap victims one after the other and arrested four suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in the province of Sulu, police said Friday.

The Sulu Provincial Police Office identified the rescued victims as Jose Duterte, 63, and a seven-year-old girl, of Zamboanga del Norte and Tawi-Tawi, respectively.

Police said Duterte was rescued by troops of the Joint Task Force Sulu and Naval Forces Western Mindanao in Barangay Kandayok, Panamao, Sulu at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Duterte's rescue came after the troops managed to zero in on his location. Duterte, who owns a coconut farm, and his wife, Jessica, 53, were seized by five ASG bandits on the evening of March 3, 2017 while they were resting in their residence near the shore in Barangay Sta. Maria, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte.

The couple was forced to board a waiting motorboat that sped to the high seas. The ASG bandits freed Jessica in Basilan province on Oct. 31 last year.

Meanwhile, police said four ASG bandits were arrested when seven-year-old Astah was rescued by policemen in Barangay Walled City, Jolo, Sulu at about 2:45 p.m. Thursday.

The arrest was made after the payoff of the ransom between the victim’s grandfather and the ASG bandits.

Police withheld the names of the arrested ASG bandits, who were detained at the police headquarters in Jolo, Sulu.

The girl was seized by ASG bandits in Sitio Polao Pinang, Barangay Himba, Tandubas, Tawi-Tawi on the evening of June 25 this year.

Her mother, Rahsa Malyn, was injured when she was seized as her father, Rahim, put up a fight that triggered a brief shootout.

The ASG bandits pretended to buy gasoline from the business establishment of the girl's family at the shore of Barangay Himba when they seized the child. (PNA)