12 civilians abducted by MNLF in Basilan, 4 freed later
MANILA, Philippines–Twelve people, including a baby and four minors, have been abducted by members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Basilan province, but four of them had been released, the military reported Friday.
A report from the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command said the 12 civilians were “forcibly taken” by some of 50 MNLF members led by Commander Hassan alias Addang at sitio Kakabigan in Bohe Baca village, Tipo-Tipo town on Thursday afternoon.
The report identified 11 of those abducted as Faija Banua, 44; Satra Banua, 13; Haide Banua, 9; Dalma Ambihal, 50; Alsaima Buddiman, 15; Binbin Banua, 9; Hapsa Ambihal, 28; Kalipa Ambihal, 22; Fathma Buddiman, 5 months old; Pasri Ambihal, 2; and Haipa Ambihal, 5.
The military said the four minors in the list had been released after soldiers from the Army’s 18th Infantry Battalion led by Lieutenant Colonel Paolo Perez together with village officials initiated a settlement between the rival parties.
“The motive of the abduction is believed to be a revenge of the MNLF members on the abduction of the three daughters of MNLF Commander Hassan namely Umma, Kelma and Pubu, all surnamed Duwalay, on July 9, 2013 at Triangle, Lamitan City, Basilan,” the Wesmincom said.
“Rooted in Muslim culture of honor and exacerbated by poverty, poor governance, corruption and the proliferation of firearms, ‘‘rido” or clan wars are usually related to political or business rivalries or land disputes. Disputes between families often lead to retaliatory acts organized along family lines,” it also said, adding that the said abduction which included minors was rooted to a three-decade long standing rido between the two families.
“As of press time, the safe release of hostages still being held on both camps are still being negotiated,” the Wesmincom said.
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