3 Vietnamese fishermen rescued from Abu Sayyaf
DA NANG, Vietnam — Philippine troops on Friday rescued three Vietnamese fishermen kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Saturday.
Roque said security forces also recovered the body of the fourth Vietnamese kidnapping victim, who was already dead when he was found. Roque did not say if the casualty was killed during the rescue operation or if he had died of natural causes.
“(We) recovered four kidnap victims. Three were recovered alive while the fourth one was already lifeless. I can confirm that the fishermen are currently in the custody of the Philippine Navy,” Roque told a press conference.
“They’re being debriefed and will soon be seen by Vietnamese authorities,” he added.
The “recovery” of the kidnap victims happened while President Duterte was attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit here.
Roque said the President was not able to attend the gala dinner of Apec leaders on Friday night, in part, because he was supervising the recovery operations from here.
“He is (also) supervising and coordinating (the) safe recovery of Vietnamese captives of the Abu Sayyaf Group,” he said.
Roque denied that the government had paid any ransom to the bandits in exchange for the freedom of the three Vietnamese hostages.
“We have a policy against the payment of any sort of ransom,” he said.
Roque added that he was not aware that President Duterte had personally relayed the news of the rescue to his host, Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang.
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