By LIZA JOCSON
Two Malaysian kidnap victims were rescued by troops under the Joint Task Force Sulu in seawaters off Kalinggalang Caluang near Pata Island in Sulu province at dawn yesterday.
Western Mindanao Command Spokesperson Capt Joann Petinglay identified the victims as Tayudin Anjut, 45 years old and Abdurahim Bin Sumas, 62 years old.
The victims, who were reportedly in a weak and sickly state, were immediately brought to a military hospital for medical check up.
According to Petinglay, the marines were able to rescue the victims after receiving information that Abu Sayyaf Sub-leader Alhabsy Misaya with 30 fully armed men with the two hostages were hiding at a mangrove area of Barangay Karudong in Kalinggalang Caluang, Sulu.
The marines launched an attack which led to the rescue of the victims, according to Petinglay.
The operation was led by combined elements of the Philippine Marine Ready Force Sulu, the Marine Special Operation Group, and Marine Battalion Landing Teams 1 and 3 in Kalinggalang Caluang.
Western Mindanao Command Chief Maj Gen Carlito Galvez attributed the rescue to combined efforts of the soldiers and the various stakeholders in putting pressure on the bandits.
The captives were among five Malaysian crewmen of Tugboat Serudung 3 who were kidnapped on July 19, 2016 at seawaters off Dent Haven, Tambisan, Lahad Datu, Sabah by the group of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Sibih Pissih.
The crew were reported missing after their tugboat was recovered without crew members on board in Tanjung Labian, Lahad Datu, Sabah. (Liza Jocson)