Abus free mining firm exec: Pressured or ransom paid? PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 October 2015 13:32

by Bhong Simbajon

 

A mining firm executive, kidnapped five months ago,  arrived in Zamboanga City Wednesday aboard a navy boat after he was released overnight by Abu Sayyaf captors in Sulu.

Priscillano “Nonong” Garcia, finance officer of Tubagaan Mining Firm Co.,  was found by villagers in the hinterland of of Sitio Kantabia, Barangay Buhanginan,Indanan, Sulu around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Brig.Gen. Alan Arrojado, commander of the military’s Joint Task Group Sulu, said in a statement said that Garcia was recovered by civilians and was brought to Jolo, the capital town of Sulu,  around 8 p.m. to let him board a ferry bound for Zamboanga City.

But after learning of his presence at the Jolo port, soldiers took Garcia and sent him to a military hospital for checkups.

Garcia was abducted by Abu Sayyaf militants in the town of Languyan,Tawi-Tawi on May 3, 2015.

Arrojado said he believes that the relentless military operations in Sulu, an Abu Sayyaf stronghold, have pressured the al-Qaeda linked group to release him in the jungles of Indanan.

But RMN Radio said it has received reports that the mining firm paid P1.3 million in ransom  for the release of Garcia. It quoted its source as saying  the money was received by a woman who accompanied Garcia to the Jolo port.

From Zamboanga City, Garcia took the first flight for Manila upon the request of the mining firm.

The Philippines military denied to RMN Radio about ransom payment.

The radio quoted a military official as saying that “their role is not to negotiate but pursue the enemies of the state who are still holding several foreign and local captives in the mountains of Sulu.”

Arrojado said troops have intensified of combat operations in the hinterlands of Indanan, where the group of Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahirun freed Garcia.

A military report said a 20-minute running gunbattle ensued at dawn Wednesday between troops of the army’s 32nd Infantry Battalion and some 100 Abu Sayaf gunmen under Sahiron in the vicinity where Garcia was released.

There was no immediate report of casualties.