THE Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) has turned over the rescued Vietnamese sailor to Vietnam authorities in Zamboanga City, military officials announced Wednesday.
Vietnamese sailor Do Trung Huie, who was rescued from the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), was turned over to two Vietnamese officials who visited Camp Navarro Tuesday morning.
Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., Wesmincom commander, and Rear Admiral Rene Medina, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) command chief, handed over Huie to Senior Captain Pham Than Tra, Vietnamese assistant defense and Armed Forces attaché, and Ngo Tuan Anh, Vietnamese Embassy third secretary.
"We are happy that Mr. Huie is finally going home to his love ones," Galvez said.
"We will exert all means to find and rescue the remaining kidnap victims who are still with the ASG," he added.
Government security forces have rescued Huie on Sunday, August 20, in Mataja Island, Lantawan, Basilan province.
The Abu Sayyaf bandits abducted Huie together with five others aboard a bulk carrier on November 11, 2016 near Sibago Island, Mohammad Ajul, Basilan. The cement-loaded bulk carrier was sailing to Davao City from Vietnam.
Huie's companions were identified as Pham Minh Tuan, Tran Khac Dung, Hoang Trung Thong, Hoang Van Hai, and Huang Vo. They were kidnapped by the group of Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Alvin Yusop alias Arab Puti.
Vo, 22, the vessel's second mate, escaped from captivity last June 16 when government troops raided an Abu Sayyaf camp in the boundaries of Ungkaya Pukan and Sumisip towns in Basilan province.
On July 5, the decapitated remains of Thong and Hai were discovered by the residents at Sitio Compound in the village of Tumahubong, Sumisip, Basilan.
Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, Wesmincom information officer, said that Abu Sayyaf bandits still have 18 hostages -- six Vietnamese, seven Indonesians, a Dutch birdwatcher, and four Filipinos.