• Kidnapped roll-on-roll-off tugboat engineer rescued

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    SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: The Joint Task Force Basilan with the intelligence and civil-military on Monday evening pressured the terrorist Abu Sayaff Group (ASG) to release their kidnap victim – the chief engineer of roll-on-roll-off (Ro-Ro) tugboat.

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    Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) spokesperson Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay identified the rescued kidnap victim as Laurencio Tiro, chief engineer of Super Shuttle Roro 9 tugboat.

    Petinglay said Tiro was rescued at 10:30 p.m. along the shoreline of Sitio Sasa, Barangay Basakan, Hadji Mohammad Ajul town in Basilan.

    She said four days of extensive search-rescue-recovery operations by the elite Army unit of the 4th Special Forces Battalion under Lt. Col. Andrew Bacala and the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team of Basilan resulted in Tiro’s rescue.

    Tiro was kidnapped along with Aurelio Agac-ac, boat captain of Super Shuttle T/B 1 of the Asian Marine Transport last March 23 along the seawaters off Sibago Island in Basilan by a group of armed men suspected to be ASG’s kidnap-for-ransom group.

    Major General Carlito Galvez Jr, Westmincom commanding general, said “terrorism and violent extremism, including kidnapping-for-ransom and other capital crimes have no place in our civilized society.”

    “The recent case of rescue and recovery of Mr. Agac-ac and Mr. Tiro from the clutches of the terrorist ASG is the success of a military-political-social approach in thwarting violent extremism and criminality from establishing foot holds in our communities,” he added.

    He also urged the people to keep a united front in protecting their community from criminals and fight back by cooperating with the security forces in unmasking the terrorists.

    Upon his rescue, Tiro, was immediately escorted to the headquarters of te 19SFC in Barangay Dancalan, Lamitan City and made to undergo a medical check up.

    He was then brought to the Westmincom on Tuesday where he underwent another medical checkup at Camp Navarro General Hospital in Zamboanga City. He will be escorted back to his family.

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