By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

13 April 2009

Kidnappers kill hostage in Basilan

ONE of the two workers snatched by a combined group of Abu Sayyaf bandits, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) guerrillas and other lawless Moros in a raid over the weekend at a Christian community in Basilan was found dead with his head nearly severed, the military said.

Capt. Neil Estrella, Marine Corps spokesman, said the body of Cosme Aballes, 54, was found on Sunday in Lamitan City, with the head nearly dismembered, prompting the Marine official to theorize that Aballes’s captors attempted to behead him.

Senior Supt. Salik Macapantar, Basilan police commander, said the victim could have been killed by the bandits after realizing they could not get any ransom for him, since he was only an ordinary worker at a rubber plantation in Lamitan.

On Good Friday, about 40 Abu Sayyaf, MILF and other Moro criminals attacked the Christian community at barangay Arco in Lamitan, and after the siege, they seized Aballes and another worker, Ernan Chavez.

Aballes’s body was found at about noon on Saturday in sitio Manawit in barangay Bohe Sapa, Lamitan City.

Estrella said Chavez is still in the hands of the bandits.

The military criticized the MILF leadership for the involvement of its members, some of whom are even commanders, in the raid.

“What is sad is that some of the men involved are identified MILF commanders,” Estrella said.

He said government troops are still pursuing the attackers, who carried out the criminal activity, apparently to disrupt the population’s observance of Holy Week.

Lamitan Mayor Roderick Furigay disclosed that he received information that the rebels killed Aballes on Good Friday, the same day when he and Chaves were abducted.

The assailants, Furigay said, also killed a farmer and snatched six children upon sensing they were being pursued by government forces.

The farmer was identified as Emilio Clemente of Arco, Lamitan City.

The six children, whose ages range from 2 to 13 and who were used as human shields, were also released Friday.

The assailants withdrew toward the Sampinit Complex, that is located in the central part of Basilan province.

Rear Adm. Alexander Pama, Task Force Trillium chief, said the troops are pursuing the fleeing bandits who were lately sighted in Kapatagan, Isabela City.

The Task Force Trillium was activated to address the problem of kidnapping in Basilan province.

With the abduction of Chaves, the number of the victims held captive in Basilan increased to six.

The other hostages include a Sri Lankan peace advocate, a lending-company employee and three public- school teachers from Zamboanga City. (With B. Garcia Jr.)


13:12 Posted in PHILIPPINES | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

The comments are closed.