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‘Rescue of kidnapped businesswoman a surprise, welcome development to troops’

/ 08:10 PM September 20, 2011

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—Government troops were on a different mission, but ended up recovering kidnap victim Luisa Galvez on Monday morning.

The Task Force Basilan commander, Colonel Alexander Macario, said his troops were surprised to discover that while performing their mission, which was to clear Sumisip town in Basilan of Abu Sayyaf extremists, “they were able to secure one kidnap victim.”

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Under Operation Overload, Macario said, government soldiers were under instructions to “eliminate lawless elements.”

“Our troops didn’t expect to discover a woman in the area during the gun battle last Monday morning,” he said.

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Macario said members of the 10th Scout Ranger Company were sent to Sitio Bohe Peyat in Barangay Baiwas on Monday morning after receiving information about the presence of armed men.

After a 30-minute firefight, the armed men withdrew.

“The rangers were scouring the area when they discovered a woman curled in one corner and wounded,” Macario said.

Galvez, owner of RL Salon and Spa in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, was kidnapped on September 4.

“I was really surprised when we were informed she was rescued in Basilan, but we are happy that she is okay,” Ipil town Mayor Eldwin Alibutdan said.

Macario said Galvez has been undergoing trauma healing and debriefing “due to the wound she got in her right leg and some scratches on her head, but she is now stable and coherent.”

Macario said reports from the communities revealed that bandits Abu Said, Abdul Aziz and a certain Mukim were killed in the clash. He said the group was led by Abu Sayyaf leaders Puruji Indama and Khair Mundos.

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“With the rescue of Galvez, we can say that there are still other kidnap victims in the area, like the Lunsmanns,” Macario said.

Two US citizens, Gerfa Lunsmann, her son Kevin and a relative, Romnick Jakaria, were kidnapped on July 12 on Tigtabon island this city.

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TAGS: abu sayyaf, Armed conflict, Armed Forces of the Philippines, banditry, counter-insurgency operations, Crime, Insurgency, Kidnapping, law enforcement, Military, Regions, rescue operations, Security
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