Military operations against kidnappers in Sulu has led to a rescue of a captive but left two female policemen still in the hands of their abductors who are alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu, said Blas Jackosalim Ahamad was rescued by members of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 3, led by Lt. Col. Ramil Holgado, at around 2 p.m.
Ahamad, resident of Sitio Palar, Barangay Gandasuli, Patikul, Sulu, was recovered at Sitio Budjang, Barangay Libog Kabao, Panglima Estino, Sulu, by the operating Marine elements.
The rescue of Ahamad only left his two companions, who are policemen, in the hands of the ASG following the release and recovery over the weekend of another kidnap victim, Faizal Ahidji.
All four were abducted on April 29 by ASG members, led by subleader Almujer Yadah, at Barangay Liang, Patikul, where the terrorists later demanded for the payment of ransom in exchange for their release.
The Philippine National Police said earlier it has had no contact with its abducted members, although it has been assured by the military that operations were continuing in order to rescue them.
Sobejana said the information provided by Ahidji, who was released by his abductors at Sitio Daang Puti, Barangay Bangkal, Patikul, had paved the way for the rescue of Ahamad, and possibly even for their two companions who are policewomen.
“The valuable information he shared to us lead to the rescue of Blas Jackosalim Ahamad. Efforts to rescue the remaining kidnap victims shall continue,” Sobejana added.
“With the support of the local government units, the religious leaders, the Sultanate of Sulu, other stakeholders and the community as a whole, we may be able to safely rescue the remaining kidnap victims from the hands of the Abu Sayaff,” he said.
The local military commander said they were upholding the “no ransom policy” in dealing with the terrorist group, but with the assurance that they will do their “best effort to rescue all kidnap victims and neutralize all ASG members.”