AFP rescues 4 loggers abandoned by captors

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Four loggers abandoned by their kidnappers after nine days in captivity were rescued by the military in Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte on Monday.

Roger Jung-an, Jomar Maglangit, Jomar Mantangan and Raymond Purisima, who were taken by members of a renegade faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, were rescued in Barangay Libucon at about 3 p.m., Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command chief, said yesterday.

“The victims were left by their disoriented captors after soldiers and policemen had relentlessly pursued them,” Galvez said.

Maj. Gen. Roseller Murillo, Joint Task Force Zampelan commander, said barangay and local officials contacted the soldiers of the 42nd Infantry Battalion after the victims were sighted in the area.

Murillo said the kidnappers “panicked aside from being weary in the pursuit operations.”

The loggers were snatched while cutting timber in Barangay Panabutan. The kidnappers called up the employers of the victims and demanded the payment of ransom. One of the victims died after he was hit in the crossfire in a failed rescue operation on March 7.

The military said a manhunt for the kidnappers led by a certain Jamilon Wahab is ongoing.

“Let this be a warning to anyone or any group planning to engage in any criminal activities…We will eventually get you,” Galvez said.

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