COTABATO CITY: Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman on Saturday ordered the Sulu police provincial office and Talipao town officials to help locate the four social workers seized by Abu Sayyaf bandits Thursday afternoon.
Hataman directed Chief Supt. Noel Delos Reyes, ARMM police regional director, to ensure the safety of social workers Lerna Jura, Roberto Sabutano, Nurhani Sikangko and an unidentified employee of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-ARMM).
They were conducting survey in Barangay Upper Sinupaan, Talipao, Sulu for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) when seized by about 10 heavily armed men at about 4 p.m.
”Our report was that they were taken by Abu Sayyaf while doing their work,” Hataman told reporters.
”We maintain the government’s no ransom policy, we will negotiate for their release,” Hataman said, adding that the victims were helping the poor as social workers and that they are not moneyed to pay ransom, if ever.
Hataman said he has ordered the local officials of Talipao and Sulu to locate the victims and bring them back home safe.
Police authorities in Sulu have been coordinating with the local Muslim clerics to help rescue the victims who are all Tausugs, like the suspects.
Hataman who was leading ARMM employees to a prayer for the attainment of peace in Israel and Palestine and the plane crash in Ukraine that included three Filipinos as victims. PNA