AUTHORITIES have identified the wounded Abu Sayyaf captive who was rescued in Sulu Thursday, April 4, as a Malaysian fisherman.
Brigadier General Divino Rey Pabayo Jr., Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said that Jari Abdullah, 34, was rescued around 4:25 p.m. Thursday, April 4, following a firefight in the village of Bahkaan, Simisa Island, Banguingui, Sulu.
Abdullah was kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf bandits more than four months ago in Pegasus Reef Kinabatangan, Malaysia.
Pabayo said the Philippine Marine Ready Force-Sulu troopers retrieved Abdullah near the withdrawal route of the Abu Sayyaf Group some 15 minutes after they engaged in a firefight against the bandits under Najir Arik.
He said Abdullah managed to escape, although wounded since "he was shot by his captors before he was secured by the troops."
The Marine troops immediately airlifted Abdullah to Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Hospital in the village of Bus-bus, Jolo, the capital town of Sulu, for medical attention.
Pabayo said there were no casualties on the government side.
"The act of shooting the kidnap victim is indicative of the Abu Sayyaf's hopelessness and desperateness as the bandits are now surrounded by our pursuing troops. The AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) in Sulu is now more motivated to hunt down these terrorists," Pabayo said.
Abdullah was seized on December 6, 2018 along with two Indonesian fishermen from their boat while fishing at Pegasus Reef Kinabatangan, Malaysia.
The two Indonesians were identified as Heri Ardiansyah, 19, and Hariadin, 45. There was no report about their whereabouts.
Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said the Marine troops continue their pursuit and offensives to run down bandits and rescue the remaining captives in the province of Sulu.
The Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf bandits are still holding captives close to 10 people, including foreigners, who were kidnapped in separate occasions. (SunStar Philippines)