Thursday, 01 August 2013 15:10
An abducted employee of the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) was released on Wednesday morning, a military official said.
But the two sisters, Nadjoua Bansil, 35, and Linda Bansil, 33, who are independent filmmakers, both of whom are Filipino citizens of Moroccan and Algerian descent, remain in the hands of their captives.
The latest information from former kidnap victim in Sulu, Professor Octavio Dinampo, revealed that the two sisters were "sold" by their contacts in the troubled island province to their captors.
Col. Andreilino Colina, commander of Task Force Zamboanga (TFZ), said Alrashid Rojas was released at about 4 o' clock early morning Wednesday, July 31, 2013, in Jolo, Sulu.
"This morning, at about 4 o' clock...na release siya doon sa Jolo. Nakatanggap iyong mga tropa natin doon sa Jolo na na-release daw siya," Colina said in an interview on Radio Mindanao Network (RMN) radio station here in the city.
Colina confirmed that it was the Abu Sayyaf group engaged in kidnap-for-ransom operating in Talipao, Sulu that abducted Rojas.
"Iyong grupo na dumukot sa kanya ay kidnap-for-ransom group na may link ito doon sa Talipao Abu Sayyaf group engaged in kidnap-for-ransom," he said.
It will be recalled that Rojas, 56, an office clerk of the Islamic studies department at the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU), was seized near his residence around 7:50 p.m. at Amping Drive, Campo Islam village, west of Zamboanga City.
Rojas' abductors were reportedly wearing military uniform and speaking Tausug vernacular when they carried out the abduction last June 22.
They were led by a certain Idang Susukan.
Rojas was airlifted from Jolo to Edwin Andrews Air Base through a Philippine Air Force's Lumad plane and was already reunited with his family yesterday afternoon. Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar met him at EAAB, according to local media reports.
Based on media reports, the victim, who was visibly exhausted, was brought to the military headquarters and given medical attention.
It was not yet clear whether ransom was paid by the victim's family.
But Colina had earlier reported that kidnappers of Rojas demanded a P20-million ransom for the victim’s release.
Meanwhile, the brothers of two abducted Bansil sisters continue to campaign and appeal for the unconditional release of their sisters.
Brothers Mohammed and Zackaria Bansil posted on social networking site YouTube a video showing them appealing for the freedom of their captured sisters Nadjou and Linda Bansil.
The Bansil brothers appealed, "We are releasing this video for media and public use as an official plea from the Bansil family."
The Peace and Conflict Journalism Network had earlier called on authorities in Sulu to convene as a crisis committee for the safe release of the two sisters.
By Hader Glang
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