Troops rescue Vietnamese sailor off Basilan

GOVERNMENT troops have safely rescued a Vietnamese sailor that the Abu Sayyaf bandits have seized nine months nine days ago off Basilan province, a top military official said on Monday, August 21.

Rescued by the Joint Task Force Basilan (JTFB) troops was Do Trung Huiqe, a crew of the Vietnamese bulk carrier, M/V Royal 16.

The Western Mindanao Command reported that Huiqe was rescued around 9 p.m., Sunday, August 20, in Mataja Island, Lantawan, Basilan province.

Rear Admiral Rene Medina, Naval Forces Western Mindanao command chief, said the troops were on special intelligence operations when they safely rescued Huiqe.

Medina said no firefight ensued as the Abu Sayyaf bandits fled upon sensing the presence of the troops that “opened a chance for rescue operations.”

The Abu Sayyaf bandits seized Huiqe and five others including the M/V Royal 16 skipper on November 11, 2016 in the vicinity of Coco Island, Basilan province.

The M/V Royal 16, which was loaded with cement, was sailing to Davao City from Vietnam when the Abu Sayyaf bandits, aboard on speed boat, hijacked the bulk carrier.

Medina said Huiqe was taken to a military hospital for medical check-up and debriefing prior to his turnover to higher headquarters and eventually to the government of Vietnam.

“The rescue was a result of the maximized conduct of intelligence operations and the successful airstrike mission launched by our troops on the ground,” Colonel Juvymax Uy, JTFB commander, said. (SunStar Philippines)
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