ILIGAN CITY – A wounded Abu Sayyaf group leader was captured by troops of the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi Saturday evening, March 20, in Barangay Kalupag Island, Languyan, Tawi-Tawi.
The captured ASG sub-leader was identified as Majan Sahidjuan, a.k.a. Apo Mike, said to be responsible in the kidnapping of five fishermen on January 16, 2020 in Tambisan Island, Malaysia, an island in the Sulu Sea.
Western Mindanao Command commander LtGen Corleto Vinluan, Jr., said troops of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-6 under Lt. Col. Venjie Pendon acted on a report regarding the presence of suspicious fully-armed men in Barangay Kalupag Island.
The troops proceeded to the area and were immediately met by gunfire which eventually resulted in the wounding of Sahidjuan.
“He was abandoned by his two comrades who fled bringing along the remaining Indonesian kidnap victim with them,” said Pendon.
Sahidjuan and his group had an encounter with government forces on September 29, 2020 in a remote village in Patikul, Sulu which resulted in the death of one of the fishermen and an ASG member.
On Thursday, the remaining four kidnap victims were on board a locally-made motorboat along with five of their kidnappers when it capsized in the waters off Pasigan Island in Tawi-Tawi after it encountered huge waves. Three of the four kidnap victims were rescued by authorities and were identified as Riswanto Hayano, 27, Arizal Kastamiran, 29, and the boat’s 41-year-old captain Arsyad Dahalan.
A hot pursuit operation is currently being conducted to rescue the remaining kidnap victim and apprehend his abductors. The remaining kidnap victim is said to be a teenage boy.
“Rest assured that we will sustain heightened alert and intensify our operations to expedite the rescue of the KV (kidnap victim) and the arrest of the ASG members,” said Vinluan.