GOVERNMENT forces rescued the other day in Tawi-Tawi three Vietnamese crew members of a foreign vessel who were abducted by the Abu Sayyaf Group.
However, one of the abducted Vietnamese was found dead.
This was confirmed by Joint Task Force Sulu Commander Brigadier General Custodio Parcon Jr.
Parcon identified the rescued Vietnamese as Buy Xuan Vien, Bui Trung Duc and Nguten Quang Huy.
During the military operation, the troops also found the body of Nguyin Huu Trong who reportedly died due from illness during his captivity.
Reports reaching Camp Aguinaldo showed that the military rescue operation was launched at around 7:45 a.m. near Kang Tipayan Island in Languyan, Tawi-Tawi.
The rescued Vietnamese hostages were brought by Naval forces of Western Mindanao to Zamboanga City for medical treatment.
“Through the operations conducted by our Marines and Navy, we successfully recovered the Vietnamese hostages off Tawi-Tawi waters, and we mean to intensify our offensives to pressure the bandits to yield,” Parcon said.
The victims were crew members of Marine Vessel Giang Hai 5 who were abducted by the bandits off the waters of Pearl Bank, Pangutaran, Sulu on February 25.
Of the 17 crew members aboard the vessel, two were killed while attempting to escape from the Abu Sayyaf.
Ten were rescued by the troops, while the group of Xuan Vien was transported by the bandits to mainland Sulu.
As of press time, there are seven foreigners and nine Filipinos who are still held by the bandits in the hinterlands of Sulu.
AFP-Western Mindanao Command Commander Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez said operations by ground units continue to rescue remaining hostages.
“Operations by our ground units continue to yield positive results as we relentlessly pursue the bandits to thwart their kidnapping ploys and rescue their victims,” he said.