At least four kidnap victims have been rescued by military troops on Monday in Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte, the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) said.
The kidnap victims who were identified by the WestMinCom as Roger Jung-an, Jomar Maglangit, Jomar Mantangan, and Raymond Purisima were held captive for nine days. They have been rescued at 3 p.m. on Monday.
The WestMinCom said the victims were “left by their disoriented captors after soldiers and policemen had been relentlessly pursuing them.”
Major General Roseller Murillo, commander of the Joint Task Force Zampelan, said lawless elements under a certain Jamilon Wahab “panicked aside from becoming weary with ongoing pursuit operations” and left the victims before they managed to flee.
He added that the barangay chairman of Barangay Libucon and Sirawai Mayor Gamar Janihim contacted soldiers of the 42nd Infantry Battalion for the turnover of the victims who were said to have been found by residents of Libucon.
WestMinCom said the rescued victims are chainsaw operators and laborers who are all residents of Barangay San Vicente in Sirawai. They were abducted in the vicinity of Barangay Panabutan of the same municipality last March 3.
“They were originally five when they were kidnapped. However, one of them was hit in the crossfire during an encounter between our soldiers and their captors last March 7,” Murillo said.
The victims immediately underwent medical checkup and debriefing, the WestMinCom said.
WestMinCom Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., meanwhile, said the troops and policemen are still tracking the kidnappers.
“Let this be a warning to anyone or any group who are planning to engage in any criminal activities. We will fix you and we will eventually get you,” he said.