From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 16): Abducted Vietnamese escapes from Abu Sayyaf
A kidnapped Vietnamese sailor grabbed the opportunity and dashed to freedom on Friday as the government troops pounded the lair of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Basilan province.
Col. Juvymax Uy, Joint Task Force Basilan commander, identified the Vietnamese sailor as Hoang Vo, the second mate of the Vietnam-registered bulk carrier Royal 16.
Uy said Vo was able to escape when government troops raided the lair of the ASG at around 8:30 a.m. Friday in the boundaries of Sumisip and Ungkaya Pukan towns in Basilan.
“The kidnapped victim was airlifted by an air ambulance and is now in Zamboanga City,” Uy said, citing Vo sustained bruises as a result of his daring escape.
The Abu Sayyaf bandits kidnapped Vo along with five other Vietnamese sailors when they hijacked the Royal 16 bulk carrier at 8.3 nautical miles southeast of Coco Island in Basilan province on November 11, 2016.
The Royal 16 bulk carrier, manned by 19 crewmen, was en route to Davao from Hai Phong in Vietnam when the Abu Sayyaf bandits, aboard on a speed boat, intercepted the vessel.
The other 13 crewmen who were left aboard the Royal 16 reported the incident to the authorities.
Vo’s five companions who remain in captivity included the Royal 16’s master, chief mate, third officer, bosun and assistant bosun.
Hijacking incidents involving foreign-owned vessels have spiked in the last quarter of 2016, prompting the Philippine military and that of Malaysia and Indonesia to initiate joint anti-piracy campaign.
On Monday, June 19, the Navies of the three countries are set to launch a tripartite maritime patrol in the Sulu Sea.
Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, has said earlier that the joint patrol will also deter possible terrorists atrocities in the Sulu sea.