ZAMBOANGA CITY: The remaining four loggers kidnapped in Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte were released by their abductors after a clash between troops and bandits on march 7 that resulted in the death of the fifth hostage, Mario Rosales who was caught in the crossfire.
Officials said the victims – Jomar Maglangit, Jomar Mantangan, Roger Jung-an and Raymond Purisima – were found by the residents in Barangay Libucon on Monday afternoon.
Mayor Gamar Janihim of Sirawai immediately informed the military about the freed hostages and turned them over to authorities.
The loggers were arrested on March 3 in the town’s hinterlands where their abductors headed by Jamilon Wahab Tukalan and Bating Lumiguis originally demanded a P10-million ransom which was eventually reduced to P75,000 or P15,000 for each hostage.
Major General Roseller Murillo, commander of the Joint Task Force Zampelan, said Janihim contacted the troops from the 42nd Infantry Battalion and turned over the four hostages who are residents of Sirawai.
It was not immediately known whether the gunmen are members of a rebel group in the province, a known lair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.