TROOPS have safely recovered the four timber cutters nine days after they were seized by kidnap-for-ransom group (KFRG) in Zamboanga del Norte, officials said Tuesday, March 13.
Safely recovered were: Roger Jung-an; Jomar Maglangit; Jomar Mantangan; and, Raymond Purisima all resident of San Nicolas village, Sirawai, Zambaonga del Norte.
Major General Roseller Murillo, Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander, said they were abandoned by their disoriented captors around 3 p.m. Monday in Libucon village, Sirawai as soldiers and policemen launched relentless pursuit operations.
Mahari Abdulla, Libucon village chief, who provided initial assistance to the victims, turned over to Sirawai Mayor Gamar Janihim, who in turn handed them over to the Army’s 42nd Infantry Battalion.
The victims, who are employees of Tata Subebe, were seized by the KFRG on March 3 in Panabutan village, Sirawai when they were on the way to cut timbers.
Janihim said the kidnappers were led Jamilon Wahab and Bating Luninguis, whose group operates in the hinterlands of Sirawai and in nearby areas.
Murillo said they were originally five when they were kidnapped, however, one of them was killed in the crossfire during an encounter between pursuing troops and the kidnappers last March 7 in Sitio Kabatunayan, Panabutann village.
The other victim who was killed in the crossfire was Mario Rosales alias Mario Ungok, 46.
Murillo said the rescued kidnap victims immediately underwent medical check-up while military intelligence operatives and police investigators conducted debriefing. (SunStar Philippines)