COTABATO CITY -- The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is helping in the rescue of a Filipino-Chinese businessman who was abducted in Cotabato City Monday afternoon.

MILF chair Ebrahim Murad already designated one Nasif "Pah" Mohammad as the overall in-charge of the group's operation to rescue Nelson Tay effective last Tuesday, said Colonel Ernesto Aradanas, chief of the Army's 603rd Brigade.

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"Accordingly, Murad ordered MILF field units for the immediate rescue (of the victim) and arrest of kidnappers. They will coordinate with the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) through the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities when necessary," Aradanas said.

The move of the MILF is a welcome development, especially that Muslims are celebrating the holy month of Ramadan, he said.

"I'm very glad that Kagui Murad and the MILF decided to join the pro-peace, pro-people advocacy of the 603rd. Salam is the message of Ramadan," he added.

Tay, owner of New Asian Trading located along Don Rufino Alonzo Street in Cotabato City, was kidnapped at gunpoint by two men clad in camouflage uniforms around 5:20 p.m. of August 16.

Aradanas identified the kidnappers as Ustadz Norodin Nguda, Rambo 2, a certain Butch and Nards of the kidnap-for-ransom group Pentagon, and Toks Datukon. The suspects are also in connivance with Sammy Tilaka and Mayangkang Saguile.

Tay was taken somewhere in Maguindanao onboard a blue old model van with plate number 382.

Aradanas said the kidnappers exited to Sultan Kudarat and returned to Pawas via Rio Grande.

He said the suspects are reportedly affiliates of some rogue members of the MILF.

The MILF was unavailable for comment as of this posting Wednesday. (BOT of Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)