PHILIPPINE Marine Ready Force-Sulu (PMRF-S) has rescued an Indonesian fisherman while another drowned in a escape try amid a firefight that resulted in the death of three Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu, officials disclosed.
Brigadier General Divino Rey Pabayo, Jr., Joint Task Force Sulu commander, identified the rescued Indonesian fisherman as Heri Ardiansyah, 19. His companion, Hariadin, 45, who goes by only one name, drowned in a escape try.
Pabayo said Ardiansyah and Hariadin tried to swim across the channel towards Banglao Island as the PMRF-S troops engaged the Abu Sayyaf bandits under Najir Arik in a firefight around 5:45 p.m. Friday, April 5, in the village of Bahkaan, Simisa Island, Banguingui, Sulu.
Pabayo said three of Arik’s followers were killed in the firefight that lasted for about 10 minutes.
The Abu Sayyaf bandits fled.
He said the troops have recovered high-powered firearms abandoned by the bandits which consisted of two M-14 rifles, two M-16 Armalite rifles, and an M-203 grenade launcher.
The rescue of Ardiansyah and Hariadin came a day after their Malaysian companion, Jari Abdullah, 34, was rescued by the Marine troops.
Abdullah was retrieved following a firefight around 4:25 p.m. Thursday, April 4, in the village of Bahkaan, Simisa Island, Banguingui.
The troops retrieved Abdullah near the Abu Sayyaf bandit’s withdrawal route 15 minutes after they engaged in a firefight against the bandits under Arik.
Pabayo earlier said Abdullah managed to escape, although wounded since “he was shot by his captors before he was secured by the troops.”
The three were seized from their boat while they were fishing on December 6, 2018 at Pegasus Reef Kinabatangan, Malaysia. (SunStar Philippines)