ZAMBOANGA CITY: Government security forces on Thursday rescued two Filipino hostages from the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the province of Sulu.
The military’s Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS) said Dolcesimo Almires and Estaban Janamjam were rescued around 9:15 a.m. at Barangay Tagbak, a known lair of the Abu Sayyaf in Indanan town.
It was not immediately known if their family paid ransom for their freedom.
The victims were saved from their captors while being transported by two ASG bandits to the municipality of Parang and were immediately taken to the JTFS headquarters in Barangay Bus-bus, Jolo for medical check-up and debriefing.
Almires and Janamjam told the JTFS that they were kidnapped on October 25, 2016 off the seawaters of Pangutaran, an island municipality of Sulu.
They said they were kept captives by the group of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Jaber Susukan in Barangay Lumapid, Talipao town.
Task force leaders said Almires and Janamjam were brought to the headquarters of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) for disposition.
The rescue of the two brought the number of hostages that are still in Abu Sayyaf captivity to 23 that included a Dutch, a German, four Indonesians, five Malaysians, six Vietnamese and six Filipinos.
Just recently, rebels also released a South Korean ship captain and a Filipino sailor they kidnapped off Tawi-Tawi province after a private ransom negotiation.
The hostages – Park Chul Hong and Glen Alindajao – were freed to the former rebel group Moro National Liberation Front in Sulu and fetched by presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza.
Park and Alindajao were kidnapped also last October after the rebels hijacked their cargo ship Dongbang Giant while sailing near the Sabah border.
The ASG had originally demanded at least P50 million for the safe release of the hostages but Dureza insisted no ransom was paid to the rebels.
Government troops have been tracking down the Abu Sayyaf bandits in a bid to rescue the remaining hostages.