Tag Archive: abduction

Two Coast Guard personnel abducted by the Abu Sayyaf escaped and have been found by government troops Thursday following a clash with the al Qaeda-linked group in Indanan, Sulu, the military said.

Soldiers found SN2 Gringo Villaruz in Brgy. Buanza around 7 a.m. and SN1 Rod Pagaling around 8:30 a.m., Captain Antonio Bulao, public affairs officer of the Armed Forces’ Joint Task Group-Sulu, said.

“Villaruz was able to escape from his captors at the height of firefight,” Bulao said in a text message.

Both Villaruz and Pagaling were not injured but have been taken to the Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Trauma Hospital in Jolo for medical checks, he said.

The duo’s recovery came hours after troops battled about 100 Abu Sayyaf members led by sub-commanders Yasser Igasan and Alhabsy Misaya in Brgy. Buanza.

Members of the Army’s elite Scout Rangers, backed by cannon fire, stormed a bandit lair in that barangay from 5:25 p.m. to 7 p.m. in an operation aimed at rescuing kidnap victims.

As much as 15 Abu Sayyaf men were reportedly killed in the clash though only five bodies have so far been recovered, according to a report from the task group.

Some of them were identified as Joy Juliyon, Arapat Bagadi, Majindi, Sarman Aidarud, Mandi, Arapat Hadjiri, Dunni Ammin, Salman Wahid, Majindi Kamlun, and Runni Said.

Abu Sayyaf members Abdel Dela Cruz, Sherwin Dela Cruz, Mawalil, Duni, Bidah, Lasis Jihili, and Kapatud Sarman were reportedly wounded.

Four members of the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion were slightly wounded, Bulao said.

They were identified as Pfcs. Elvin Bacalargio, Johnrie Melegrito, Johnzen Tagumpay, and Cpl. Earl Bompat.

Troops are still verifying information that Abu Sayyaf sub-commander Alden Bagadi was killed in the clash and have confirmed that his cousin Arafat died, Bulao said.

Villaruz and Pagaling were abducted along with Brgy. Aliguay chairman Rodolfo Buligao in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte, last May 4.

Abu Sayyaf members threatened to behead the three if the P1-million ransom demand for each of them was not given.

Buligao’s severed head and body were found at a road junction in Maimbung town August 11.

Nine kidnap victims, four of whom are foreigners, remain in the hands of Abu Sayyaf members in different parts of Sulu after Villaruz and Pagaling’s recovery, Bulao said.

Villaruz and Pagaling had been spotted with 200 bandits and four other captives, three of whom have foreign-sounding surnames, three days before the assault in Indanan, according to a military report.

The foreign captives who had been with Villaruz and Pagaling are Malaysian and Korean nationals, Bulao said.

“Troops are still scouring areas around the clash site, looking for the other captives,” he said. (John Roson)

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Businesswoman abducted in Sulu

Authorities are trying to locate a businesswoman abducted by armed men in Jolo, Sulu, on Sunday, the military reported.

Abducted was 58-year-old Dingkim Yap, Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Capt. Maria Rowena Muyuela said, citing a report from the Joint Task Group Sulu.

The incident occurred around 12:30 p.m. in Brgy. Chinese Pier.

About six armed men forced Yap into a blue Tamaraw FX then sped away, according to the report.

Yap, who is engaged in textile trade, is said to have come from her store when she was abducted, a military official based in Sulu said.

Local authorities are now following leads that could help determine the abductors’ identities and motive, the official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak. (John Roson)

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Suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf abducted the 7-year-old son of a municipal treasurer in Jolo, Sulu, on Tuesday, the military said Wednesday.

Eljon Marzo, son of Maimbung town treasurer Jun Marzo, was abducted outside the family’s home in Brgy. Asturias around 5 p.m., Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Capt. Maria Rowena Muyuela said.

Eljon was playing when two suspected Abu Sayyaf members forcibly took the boy on a motorcycle, then fled with him towards Brgy. Anuling, Muyuela said in an emailed statement.

Soldiers and policemen are now tracking down the abductors, of whom one has been identified as Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Namyel Ahajari alias Gapas, Muyuela said. (John Roson)

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Armed members of the Abu Sayyaf group abducted a school teacher in Patikul, Sulu, Wednesday afternoon, the military said.

The victim was identified as Alrashid Jahang, a teacher at the Taglibi Elementary School, Capt. Ryan Lacuesta, civil-military operations officer of the 2nd Marine Brigade, said.

The abduction occurred around 4 p.m. in Sitio Baunoh, Brgy. Liang, Lacuesta said in a text message.

Jahang was riding a motorcycle from Brgy. Taglibi to Jolo when about 10 armed men, led by Aljini Mundoc alias Ninok Sapari, flagged him down and forcibly took him towards the southeast, Lacuesta said.

Marine troopers and police have been sent to recover the victim, he said.

Mundoc’s group had previously been blamed for the abduction of Filipino-Algerian sisters Nadjoua and Linda Abdel Bansil, also in Sitio Baunoh, Brgy. Liang, on June 22, 2013.

The sisters, who were filming a documentary on coffee farmers when they were abducted, were released by their captors last February 20.

Jahang’s abduction came just two days after two young cousins, their nanny, and driver were abducted in Jolo.

The four were said to have been taken by their still unidentified captors to Patikul. (John Roson)

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Armed men abducted two children, their nanny, and driver while on the way to school in Jolo, Sulu, early Monday, the military said.

The victims were identified as Mohammad Zaher Naim, 10; Princess Raiza Karanain, 8; housemaid Almalyn Abuhail, 18; and driver Saddam Amlih, all residents of Brgy. Alat, Capt. Ryan Lacuesta, civil-military operations officer of the 2nd Marine Brigade, said.

Naim and Karanain are cousins and the former’s mother is a doctor, Lacuesta said in a text message.

The abduction occurred around 7 a.m. along Scott Road in downtown Jolo.

Amlih and Abuhail were taking the children to school when five men flagged down their vehicle and forced them into a Tamaraw-type jeepney, he said.

The abductors’ vehicle was then seen heading towards the direction of Brgy. Anuling, Patikul, Lacuesta said.

Members of the Marines and local police were still tracking down the abductors and their victims as of this writing. (John Roson)

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Members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) freed five persons, including a former vice-mayor, after “arresting” them in Baloi, Lanao del Norte, the military said Saturday.

Former Baloi Vice Mayor Abdullah Balas, Brgy. Cadayunan chairman Mohammad Amer Arumpac, former Brgy. East Poblacion chairman Salonga Pacuti, and two other civilians were freed 5:30 p.m. Friday, Army 1st Infantry Division spokesman Capt. Jefferson Somera said.

Members of the MILF seized the five past 6 p.m. Thursday during a “saturation drive” in Brgy. Poblacion East, he said.

Fully-armed MILF members led by Commander Abdul Jalal Macalunto of the North Western Mindanao Front forcibly took the five and brought them to their camp in Lanao del Sur, Somera said.

“‘Yung MILF kasi, nagko-conduct ng saturation drive, tinawag nila na anti-drugs saka anti-gambling saturation, ‘yun ang sabi nila,” he said.

Somera, however, said the military believes that the incident was a case of “kidnapping” as the victims’ families were reported to have paid money for their release.

“Nalaman namin na bago na-release, nag-ransom ng P15,000 each, so we believe na simple kidnapping ‘yun,” he said.

Somera said the military is leaving it to the police to determine if the incident will be considered as a kidnapping case. (John Roson)

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Suspected Abu Sayyaf members abducted two Filipino-Algerians working for a royalty, in Patikul, Sulu, Saturday morning, a military official said.

Col. Jose Johriel Cenabre, commander of the 2nd Marine Brigade, identified the victims as siblings Linda Abdel Basit and Nadova Abdel Basit.

The two work as public relations officers for the group Tausug Citizen, which is led by Sultan Bantilan Muhammad Muizzuddin and based in Brgy. Kajatian, Indanan, Cenabre said in a text message.

The abduction occurred around 9:30 a.m. in Sitio Baunuh, Brgy. Liang.

Information gathered from the area indicated that Linda and Nadova were riding a passenger jeepney from Jolo to Patikul, when eight armed men flagged down the vehicle and took the sisters, Cenabre said.

The abductors, believed to be members of the Abu Sayyaf’s so-called “urban terrorist group,” were led by a certain Ninok Sappari, according to the military official.

Pursuit operations have been launched to track down the abductors and victims, he said. (John Roson)

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The US government has warned its citizens against staying or traveling to the Zamboanga Peninsula amid what it calls a kidnap threat by terrorists against foreign nationals.

“A credible threat of a terrorist kidnapping-for-ransom plot against foreigners has been identified in the Zamboanga area,” the US embassy said in an advisory issued Wednesday.

The embassy advised all American citizens residing in or planning to travel to Zamboanga to “re-evaluate their personal safety situation and consider postponing travel” to the area.

“Any US government personnel already in Zamboanga have been directed to relocate to a secure area,” the embassy said.

“US government employees planning to travel to Zamboanga have been directed to defer their travel at this time,” it added.

The embassy’s warning came two days after police and military personnel arrested a “lawless element” tagged in the abduction of Italian missionary Fr. Giancarlo Bossi, at a mall in Zamboanga City.

Putot Jakaria was arrested Monday on warrants for illegal detention with robbery and kidnapping with serious illegal detention, Senior Supt. Edwin de Ocampo, Zamboanga City police director, said.

Jakaria is “allegedly” involved in the abduction of Bossi, the police official said.

Bossi was abducted on June 10, 2007 in Zamboanga Sibugay and freed July 19 the same year. He died in Milan, Italy in Sept. 2012 at the age of 62 due to lung cancer.

Maj. Ramon Zagala, chief of the Armed Forces’ public affairs office, said the military respects the US Embassy’s issuance of a travel advisory.

“The AFP deems it appropriate for any country to protect and at all times consider the safety and well-being of their people in their own country or abroad, as we likewise do here in the Philippines,” Zagala said.

He said the military will continue to monitor the security situation in Mindanao to protect Filipinos and foreign citizens.

“We are vigilant and will continue to monitor the security situation in the country, particularly in Mindanao. Our intelligence gathering and network sharing with other law-enforcement agencies, particularly the PNP, are in place to prevent any untoward incident,” Zagala said. (John Roson)

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Seven Marine troopers and four Abu Sayyaf members were killed while at least 19 other combatants were injured as government forces clashed with the bandit group in Patikul, Sulu, early Saturday, the military said.

Col. Rodrigo Gregorio, Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said the clash started around 6:30 a.m., while members of the Marines’ Force Reconnaissance Company were conducting operations in Brgy. Tugas.

“This is part of the ongoing tracking and pursuit operations in relation to the recent kidnapping of a Marine’s wife in Sulu,” Gregorio said in a text message.

There were many casualties because the troops were “ambushed,” a security official monitoring the situation said, on condition of anonymity.

Gregorio said the “close firefight” resulted in the death of seven soldiers and injuries to nine others.

On the Abu Sayyaf, 10 were wounded and four others, including one Kausar Sawadjaan and a certain commander Apong Idol, were killed, he said.

As of Saturday noon, soldiers and policemen were still conducting “follow through actions” against the Abu Sayyaf.

“The safety and well-being of the community is paramount consideration. Focused military operations will continue to be observed,” Gregorio said.

On May 18, suspected Abu Sayyaf members abducted Casilda Villarasa, wife of Marine Sgt. Faustino Villarasa, in front of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) in Jolo.

Villarasa, who works as a medical technologist at the IPHO, is believed to have been taken by her abductors to the jungles of Patikul. (John Roson)

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Armed men abducted a radio reporter and commentator inside a restaurant in Candelaria, Quezon, early Sunday, police said.

Melinda Jennifer Glifonea, of 103.1 FM Edge Radio, was abducted shortly before 4 a.m., while she was eating at the Lugawan ng Masa restaurant along Argao st., Brgy. Poblacion, Chief Insp. Edcille Canals, Quezon provincial police spokesman, said.

Two men wearing bull caps and had their faces covered with handkerchiefs arrived at the restaurant on a silver Toyota Innova, drew short firearms, and declared a heist, Canals said.

The gunmen ordered everyone inside the restaurant to lie on the floor, forcibly took Glifonea to their vehicle, then fled towards the direction of Brgy. Pahinga Norte and the Candelaria Bypass road, he said.

The incident was captured on the establishment’s closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera.

The abductors’ vehicle had its registration plate covered, but its conduction sticker 7858 was seen, Canals said.

Members of the Candelaria Police are still tracking down the abductors and the victim as of this writing. (John Roson)

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