THE military rescued Vietnamese sailor, Do Trung Huiqe, kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in November last year and held captive on Mataja Island in Basilan.
The sailor, a crew member of the cargo ship MV Royal 16, was rescued on the island off Hadji Muhtamad town just across Maluso on Sunday by the Joint Task Force Basilan headed by Colonel Juvymax Uy, through Naval
Task Group Basilan and Naval Task Force 61 following “a special intelligence operation.”
Huiqe was then brought to a military hospital in Zamboanga City where he underwent a medical check-up and debriefing.
“The intensified military offensives caused the Abu Sayyaf [members]to flee and opened a chance for rescue operations,” Rear Admiral Rene Medina, regional naval forces commander, said.
However, Medina did not give details of the rescue operation.
It was not also immediately known whether the rescue operation sparked off the Abu Sayyaf attack of Barangay Tubigan also in Maluso town on Monday that killed 10 village residents and wounded dozens others.
The Joint Task Force Basilan last week also rescued Filipino kidnap victim Edmundo Ramos, who was abducted by the ASG on July 16 along with three others while doing a renovation job in Sulu.
Ramos was rescued by Navy personnel off Tapintana in Basilan waters on August 14 while his three companies were rescued earlier in August 10.
Recently, the Vietnamese government requested the Philippine Navy’s Flag Officer in Command Vice Adm. Joseph Ronald Mercado to intensify its monitoring of Vietnamese kidnap victims in the southern area of the country.
WITH DEMPSEY REYES