Search continues for 2 boar hunters believed captured by IS gunmen in Lanao Sur
ILIGAN CITY—Policemen and soldiers continued the search for two wild boar hunters who were reported missing by their companions in the town of Madalum, Lanao del Sur province and believed to have been taken by Islamic State followers.
Maj. Jolly Sabtal, Madalum police chief, said the missing men were among six hunters from the town of Bacolod, Lanao del Norte province.
Sabtal said two of the hunters had been killed in an explosion—Francis Alcaba, 32, and Lito Angcop, 22.
Capt. Regie Bonn Pagaduan, Bacolod police chief, said the bodies of Alcaba and Angcap were brought to the town and buried last Tuesday, Dec. 15.
A police report obtained by the Inquirer revealed that the two were killed by an homemade bomb at the village of Tongan-tongan in Madalum last Dec. 10.
According to military sources, the six hunters could have wandered into an area controlled by IS affiliates and captured.
Based on accounts of two survivors, which was relayed to authorities, the six were brought to an encampment and were tied up.
But on Dec. 10, Alcaba and Angcop managed to escape after the rope used to tie them loosened. They sought help at an Army detachment in nearby Munai town, Lanao del Norte.
The Madalum police was alerted about the hunters’ plight by Munai police on Dec. 11.
Sabtal said the Madalum police formed a team, which included local government workers and members of Moro Islamic Liberation Front, to search for the hunters.
From Madalum, Tongan-tongan village is a steep climb through forested terrain.
Sabtal said the team found only two bodies, which could mean the other hunters had been taken by IS followers. Two of the other missing hunters were Nito Bacayan, 22 and Leo Baloro, 24.
Col. Rex Derilo, Lanao del Sur police chief, said an investigation was ongoing to identify the suspected captors and the cause of the explosion that killed the two hunters. Witnesses’ accounts are being gathered, he said.
Police are keeping the identities of two survivors confidential for security reasons.
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