Troops rescue another Filipino sailor

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Troops have rescued another Filipino sailor following four days of unrelenting, intensive and extensive search-rescue-recovery operations aided by intelligence and civil-military operations in Basilan.

Major General Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said Laurencio Tiro, 62, was rescued around 10:30 p.m. Monday, March 27, along the shore of Sitio Sasa in Barangay Basakan, Hadji Mohammad Ajul, Basilan.

The rescue operation was carried out by the elite Army Special Forces who were backed by members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) of Hadji Mohammad Ajul town.

Tiro, the chief engineer of M/T Tug R9, was seized by the Abu Sayyaf bandits together with his boat captain, Aurelio Agac-ac, 42, on Thursday (March 23) off Basilan province.

The M/T Tug R9 towing the Super Shuttle Roro 9 was steaming near Sibago Island, Hadji Mohammad Ajul, Basilan, when the bandits waylaid and seized Tiro and Agac-ac.

The troops rescued Agac-ac in the village of Basakan, Hadji Mohammad Ajul on Saturday, March 25.

"Terrorism and violent extremism, including kidnapping for ransom and other capital crimes have no place in our civilized society," Galvez said.

"The rescue and recovery of Mr. Agac-ac and Mr. Tiro from the clutches of the terrorist ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) is the success of a military-political-social approach in thwarting violent extremism and criminality from establishing foot holds in our communities," he added.

Upon his rescue, Tiro was escorted to the headquarters of 19th Special Forces Company in the village of Dangcalan, Lamitan City, where a medical team was waiting. From there, Tiro was taken to the Westmincom headquarters.

As of noon Tuesday, March 28, Tiro is undergoing a thorough medical check-up at Camp Navarro General Hospital inside Westmincom headquarters.

He will be transported Tuesday afternoon back to his family in Cebu City.

Coincidentally, his wife is celebrating her birthday Tuesday, March 28. (SunStar Philippines)

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