MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Navy rescued a Vietnamese hostage of the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan in a military operation that forced the bandits to flee.
"A Vietnamese kidnap victim who had been held captive by the Abu Sayyaf Group for months was rescued by military forces on August 20, 2017 at Mataja Island, Basilan," said Rear Admiral Rene Medina, commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao.
Do Trung Huiqe, a crew member of MV Royal 16 that the bandits attacked in November 2016, was brought to a military hospital for a medical checkup and debriefing.
Two of his colleagues in the crew were beheaded in July. (READ: Abu Sayyaf beheads 2 Vietnamese hostages)
The hostage was rescued by the team of Colonel Juvymax Uy of the Joint Task Force Basilan with the help of the Naval Intelligence Service Group Western Mindanao.
Vietnam asked the Philippines to closely monitor its citizens following the beheading of the two crew members last month.
The Basilan faction of the Abu Sayyaf is led by Isnilon Hapilon, who moved to Central Mindanao to join the notorious Maute Group. They attacked Marawi City on May 23, prompting a war that continues to rage nearly 3 months later.
Hapilon is reportedly the Southeast Asian emir of international terrorist network Islamic State (ISIS). Hapilon reportedly failed to recruit the Sulu faction of the Abu Sayyaf Group to support ISIS. – Rappler.com