PHILIPPINE military officials have turned over to Jakarta authorities the two Indonesian sailors the troops have rescued in the province of Sulu, top military officials announced Saturday.
Rear Admiral Rene Medina, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) commander, said Sarapuddin Koni and Sawal Maryam were turned over on Thursday to Colonel Asep Saefudin, Indonesian defense attache, and Captain Nyoman Joko Gunawan of the International Monitoring Team (IMT).
Medina saidthe two officials visited Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) headquarters and fetched the two rescued Indonesian sailors to Jakarta.
Philippine Marines Ready Fleet-Sulu led by Colonel Antonio Rosario Jr. rescued Koni and Maryam around 6:30 a.m. Thursday, September 7, in the village of Bunot, Indanan, Sulu.
Koni and Maryam were seized aboard a Malaysian-flagged trawler the Abu Sayyaf bandits hijacked on November 19, 2016, in Merabong waters near Kunak District, Sabah.
Koni is the skipper of the trawler while Maryam is a crew.
“We are elated to know that Koni and Maryam will soon reunite with their families and loved ones,” Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command chief said.