ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - The chief engineer of a tugboat who was kidnapped last week in an Abu Sayyaf stronghold in the southern Philippines was rescued Monday, said security officials.
Basilan army commander Col. Juvemax Uy told DXNO radio Monday that Laurencio Tiro’s Abu Sayyaf captors were forced to release him after an unrelenting four-day military operation.
Tiro was recovered by army soldiers from the shoreline of the village of Basacan, in the town of Mohammad Ajul town, in the Basilan province around 10:30 p.m.
Tiro and Aurelio Agac-ac, the boat’s skipper, were seized by Abu Sayyaf gunmen aboard three speedboats. Agac-ac was freed two days later.
Tiro’s release came a day after three Malaysian sailors were rescued by security forces in the nearby Sulu province, another Abu Sayyaf stronghold.
“Terrorism and violent extremism, including kidnapping for ransom and other capital crimes, have no place in our civilized society,” said Maj. Gen. Carlito G. Galvez Jr., head of the Western Mindanao Command, in a statement Tuesday.
“The recent case of rescue and recovery of Mr. Agac-ac and Mr. Tiro from the clutches of the terrorist ASG is the success of a military-political-social approach in thwarting violent extremism and criminality from establishing foot holds in our communities,” he added.
By Roy Ramos