ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – A municipal health worker was recovered by government troops in Patikul, Sulu last Wednesday, two days after Abu Sayyaf militants seized her, police said.
Senior Superintendent Antonio Freyra, Sulu police director, said the Abu Sayyaf group led by Minok Sappari was forced to release Roselyn Kiram as a combined group of policemen and Marines mounted pressure on them.
Freyra said Kiram, 54, a midwife of the Patikul Rural Health Center, was recovered at around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Barangay Maligay, Patikul town.
“The kidnappers freed and abandoned Kiram due to the mounting pressure, as our police forces and the village leaders and local officials joined hands in hunting them down,” Freyra said.
Kiram, together with five other health workers, was seized last Monday afternoon while en route to Jolo, the capital town of Sulu. Sappari’s group subsequently released Kiram’s colleagues but held her captive.
Freyra said Kiram was quite weak after three days and two nights of walking as his captors tried to elude the pursuing troops.
Freyra said the full participation of the locals paid off after the Patikul mayor and Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan challenged them.
“The recovery of the victim was successful since not a single shot was fired even if it happened right in the area known to be a haven of the Abu Sayyaf,” he said.
Freyra said the Abu Sayyaf did not have a chance to demand ransom, as the pursuit against them was relentless.
Freyra also doubted if the Abu Sayyaf snatched Kiram to treat its wounded members, since it kept only her and freed her five fellow health workers. - By Roel Pareño