4 missing hunters in Basilan show up PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 28 November 2014 12:55

Four militia volunteers who disappeared for five days after going on a hunting for wild animals in the forest border of Maluso and Lantawan towns in Basilan showed up yesterday, relieving earlier fears that they may have been mistaken by soldiers as Abu Sayyaf guerrillas.

Richard Falcatan, station manager of DXNO based in Basilan, said the four missing hunters, turned themselves in amid search operations by military and police teams.

Falcatan identified the four as Prisco Perez, Renato Casiple Jr., Ricardo Espinosa and Elmer Espinosa .

Falcatan said the four went hunting on Nov. 24 and were last seen Nov. 25 heading southwest towards the border of Lantawan and Maluso.

Intelligence reports said there was Abu Sayyaf movement in Mahayahay, Maluso on November 20, suggesting that the four may have also be abducted or killed by the militant group

Basilan and Sulu are two strongholds of the militant Abu Sayyaf that is linked to al-qaeda and which has recently declared support to the Islamic State (IS)

Security forces have launched an offensive against the Abu Sayyaf starting October after two German tourists were released by Abu Sayyaf kidnappers reportedly on payment of P250 million ransom.

On Sunday, November 21, five suspected Abu Sayyaf militants were killed as government forces overran a guerrilla camp following a clash in Basilan

Col. Rolando Joselito Bautista, 104th Infantry Brigade commander, said the troops clashed with a group of Abu Sayyaf guerrillas around 7:50 a.m. in the village of Baiwas, Sumisip town, Basilan.

Bautista said the clash resulted in the death of five Abu Sayyaf militants.

He said no one was either killed or wounded on the government side.

Bautista said a clearing operation in coordination with militia forces followed after the clash leading to the capture of the bandit camp at the clash site.

Bautista said the camp has 10 nipa huts with fortified trenches and foxholes that could accommodate around 50 people.