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Capitol aid cited in Abu captivity

/ 07:06 AM June 26, 2011

Barely a week after he escaped from the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan province, engineer Virgilio Fernandez visted Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia at the Capitol to thank her for her help.

Fernandez, who was accompanied last Friday by  two sons,  recounted  his escape from the bandit group.

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He said he lost 30 pounds from walking several kilometers and was fed only  rice and noodles twice a day during  his 16-day captivity.

The engineer, who was seized by the bandit group while overseeing a project in Lamitan City, said his every move was monitored by  five armed men.

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“Pinangga gyod ka sa Ginoo (You are favored  by God),” the governor said.

The 59-year-old engineer described  how his religious faith  strengthened him during his ordeal.

With his father held captive by the Abu Sayyaf, Fernandez’s son Pierre Virgil visited Garcia’s office to ask her assistance.

Last June 8,  the Capitol extended  P50,000 cash in financial aid  to the Fernandez family, who reside in barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City

Garcia also called Basilan Gov. Jum Akbar to help Fernandez’s family.

Fernandez said his family was asked to pay P9.8 million as ransom.

The Abu Sayaff kidnappers also  threatened to behead him if they weren’t paid.

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He said he managed to flee through an unlocked door while his captors were sleeping in one of the houses they stayed in.

He  walked for hours in mountain trails and was  found by civilian paramilitary volunteers last Sunday. Correspondent Carmel Loise Matus

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TAGS: Abu Sayaff, Crime
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