Suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits abducted six civilians, including two children, in Patikul, Sulu on Nov. 14.
Meanwhile, a Vietnamese hostage died in captivity while three other Vietnamese nationals were rescued on Nov. 10 in Tawi-Tawi, according to the military’s Western Mindanao Command.
Kidnapped were Jessy, 55; Nene, 56; Aloh, 22, all surnamed Trinidad, and Lucy, 21; Junjun, 13; and Nelson, 7, all surnamed Hapole.
They were taken at gunpoint from their houses at Kalimayahan Village in Barangay Latih.
Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said the victims were not wealthy. They could be used by the bandits as human shields during military operations.
The rescued Vietnamese hostages were Buy Xuan Vien, Bui Trung Duc, and Nguten Quang Huy. They were taken to Zamboanga City for medical check ups and debriefing. A fourth – Nguyin Huu Trong – died of a lingering illness while in captivity.
They were sailors abducted off the waters of Sulu. Of the 17 crew members of the Giang Hai 5, two were killed while 10 escaped.
Abu Sayyaf still holds nine Filipinos and seven foreigners – five Indonesians, a Vietnamese and a Dutch man – hostage.
SC affirms jail for kidnappers
The Supreme Court has affirmed long prison terms for the kidnappers of businesswoman Michelle Ragos.
The SC Second Division affirmed the Court of Appeals’ imposition of the penalty of reclusion perpetua, or imprisonment of up to 40 years, on Jimmy Alunan, Omar Kamir, Alex Daliano and Bayan Abbas Adil. They were declared ineligible for parole.
The SC also sustained the 10- to 17-year prison term for accomplices Brahim Lidasan, Nhokie Mohamad, Rocky Mocalam, Teng Usman, Ali Matoc, Muslimen Wahab and Rowena Amal Rajid.
Besides upholding the CA’s September 2008 sentence, the SC also imposed civil liability on Kamir, Daliano and Adil.
They were ordered to solidarily pay P300,000 in civil indemnity, moral damages and exemplary damages to Ragos, with an interest of six percent per annum from the finality of the judgment.
The Las Piñas City Regional Trial Court Branch 275 in August 2005 originally meted out the death penalty and the penalty of reclusion perpetua to the main suspects and their accomplices, respectively.
But, the CA downgraded the penalties because former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo enacted a law suspending the imposition of the death penalty.
Prosecutors said the abductors kidnapped Ragos on the evening of Oct. 30, 1998 to earn a P30-million ransom.
She was detained and eventually rescued by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force on Nov. 7, 1998, after a P4.83-million ransom was paid.