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Mario J. Mallari

Two Malaysian hostages rescued from Abu captors

Friday, 24 March 2017 00:00 Published in Nation

Government security forces yesterday rescued two Malaysian hostages from the hands of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu after eight months in captivity.

Maj. Gen. Carlito Galvez, commander of the military’s Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom), said that the safe recovery of Tayudin Anjut, 45, and Abdurahim bin Sumas, 62, was a product of the ongoing relentless focused operations against the Abu Sayyaf.
Sumas and Anjut were among the five crew members of tugboat Serudung 3 that was intercepted on July 19, 2016 off Lahad Datu in Sabah.
“This accomplishment is a product of the combined efforts of our soldiers and the different stakeholders in putting pressure on the kidnappers for the past months,” Galvez said.
Reports from the Wesmincom, however, did not specify the circumstances how the two Malaysians were rescued along the seawaters off Kalinggalang Caluang near Pata Island at around 2 a.m. yesterday.
The Wesmincom only said that the victims were successfully rescued by elements of the Joint Task Force Sulu, particularly troops from the Marine Special Operations Group and Marine Battalion Landing Teams 1 and 3.
Both kidnap victims were immediately brought by the troops to the Sulu military station hospital for medical check-up and interview.
“The rescued kidnap victims are weak and in a sickly state when they were rescued by our troops. Military doctors are now attending to them as we speak in our hospital in Sulu,” Galvez said.
Galvez said that the sustained military operations will continue against the Abu Sayyaf group in Sulu, particularly the band of Alhabsy Misaya, believed to still  be keeping some of the hostages.
The Abu Sayyaf Group is still holding more than 20 hostages, mostly foreigners composed of Malaysians, Indonesians and Vietnamese.
Meanwhile, gunmen believed to be Abu Sayyaf bandits seized four people from a cargo vessel they hijacked off Basilan province yesterday.
Lt. Commander Alvin Dagalea, Zamboanga Coastguard Station Commander, identified two of the four victims as Aurelio Agacac and Laurencio Tiro. The identities of the other two have yet to be determined.
Dagalea said the incident took place at around 12:20 p.m. Thursday in the vicinity of Sibago Island, Mohammad Ajul, Basilan.
He said the vessel, Super Shuttle Roro 9, was transiting at 26 nautical miles east of Matangal, Basilan and 19 NM of Sibago Island when intercepted by suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits aboard three speed boats.
Super Shuttle Roro 9 plies the Cebu to General Santos route and vice-versa.                        With PNA

PNP vows: No special treatment for Espinosa rubout accused

Thursday, 23 March 2017 00:00 Published in Nation

The Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday vowed there will be no special treatment given to Supt. Marvin Marcos and his men who were ordered arrested by a Leyte court for the killing of former Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.

Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos, PNP spokesman, said Marcos and his group will be treated just like any other suspects.
“There will be no special treatment, that is why we just follow the court where to detain him (Marcos),” said Carlos.
“They are accused and suspects in the incident and they will be treated as such,” he added.
Marcos and his former men at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Region 8 at currently under the custody of CIDG-Region 8 where they were committed by the court.
“If the court decides for another venue, we will follow the decision of the court,” said Carlos.
President Duterte has said previously that he sticks to “truthfulness” of Marcos’ group in the killing of Espinosa last November 5 inside the Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail in Baybay City.
The President admitted he was the one ordered the reinstatement of Marcos as CIDG-Region 8 chief after he was relieved by PNP Director General Ronald de la Rosa.
Marcos’ group claimed that Espinosa and fellow inmate Raul Yap engaged the raiding team of CIDG-Region 8 that led to their killing.
However, the National Bureau of Investigation declared the incident as a “rubout” and premeditated.”
Only last week, the Senate committees on public order and dangerous drugs and justice and human rights, chaired by Senators Panfilo Lacson and Richard Gordon, reported that Espinosa’s killing was “premeditated.”
The Senate said that the CIDG-Region 8 personnel wanted to cover up their links to Espinosa’s illegal drug activities.

Police investigators are now tracking down the true ownership of the hand gun used in the road-rage incident in Cebu last Sunday involving a nephew of suspected drug lord Peter Lim.
This, as Chief Supt. Noel Talino, director of the Police Regional Office-7 (PRO-7), yesterday said that based on initial checking suspect David Lim Jr. is not a licensed gun owner.
“Initially, we have checked if he himself has licensed firearms but it was negative. So, now we are checking his relatives,” said Talino during a broadcast interview.
Lim, now detained at the Cebu City Police Office, used a caliber 22 handgun in shooting Ephraim Nunal after a traffic altercation in Cebu City last Sunday.
“We are checking if it is a magnum or ordinary 22,” said Talino.
According to Talino, Cebu City police have been taking steps to ensure the safety of the witnesses and the victim, who remains hospitalized, and his family.
The suspect is a son of David Lim Sr. who is a brother of Peter Lim, once tagged by President Duterte as a big-time drug lord in the Visayas region.
Talino said that policemen detailed as Nunal’s security are barred from carrying firearms while inside the hospital.
“We are coordinating with the management of the hospital to allow our policemen (to carry firearms),” he said.
“My instruction is clear —assure the safety of the witnesses. We understand that they are afraid because they are the primary witness in this case and we assure their safety,” said Talino.
Lim, 28, shot Nunal several times as shown by closed circuit television camera.
Talino said that Lim’s female companion was also charged.
“We will treat this case similar to other cases. We will treat David Lim Jr. like an ordinary suspect,” he said.
However, Lim was expected to post bail yesterday.

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