Trader rescued from kidnappers in Sulu; 2 teens freed after paying ransom in Iligan
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—The Filipino-Chinese businesswoman abducted by suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits in Siasi, Sulu, on Wednesday afternoon had been recovered injured, but five of her captors were also killed, the military said.
In Iligan City, two of the four teenagers kidnapped by still unidentified men on May 4 had also been freed after their families paid ransom, according to sources.
Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, chief of the Western Mindanao Command, said businesswoman Guan Kim Maujon, 48, was rescued on Thursday morning.
“At least five abductors were reportedly killed by pursuers since (Wednesday),” Guerrero said.
Maujon was with her husband, Arab, and son Abet, when abducted by armed men around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Barangay Tampakan Laminusa in Siasi.
Senior Insp. Annidul Sali, the police chief of Siasi, said Arab resisted and was shot to death by one of the abductors. Abet was also injured in the ensuing gunfight, he said.
“Arab Maujon, with the help of their armed civilian neighbors, traded fire with the abductors for about 10 minutes that resulted in the killing of one unidentified suspect and the recovery of an M16 rifle,” he said.
Four of the kidnappers were also killed in subsequent police and military operation, Guerrero said.
Col. Allan Arrojado, commander of the Joint Task Group Sulu, said Maujon was recovered by fishermen in the waters between the towns of Parang and Tapul around 5:30 a.m. on Thursday.
“The victim sustained two gunshot wounds on her right lower breast and left ankle and is presently undergoing medication,” Arrojado said.
In Iligan City, unidentified abductors freed on Thursday two of the four teenagers they snatched on May 4.
Senior Supt. Orlando Benas, the Iligan City police chief, said Rafael Lat and her girlfriend, Elle Marie Francis Deleste, both 18, were abandoned by the kidnappers in Barangay Sta. Elena around 3:25 a.m.
The two, he said, then took a motorcycle home.
Benas said the Deleste family paid P100,000 in ransom money shortly before the release.
Another source said the Lat family also did the same.
“We tried to talk with the freed victims but their parents did not allow us,” Benas said.
Lat and Deleste were forcibly taken on May 4, along with their friends Ehfrus Fernandez and Ken Garciano.
There had been no update on Fernandez and Garciano yet, Benas said.
Sources from the police’s antikidnapping group said the remaining hostages might have been held in the boundaries of Tagoloan, Pantar and Kapai towns in Lanao del Sur.
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