MANILA- Focused military operations by goverment troopers from Joint Task Force Sulu prompted suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits to free two drivers Sunday night or just a day after their abduction.
Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said the victims, identified as Alriznor M. Halis, from Luuk town and Alijar Ahari, a resident of Indanan and both contractual employees of the DPWH-ARMM were earlier abducted 2: 30 p.m. at Sitio Bsunoh Bangkal, Barangay Bangkal last Saturday.
The two were freed by their captors around 8: 30 p.m. Sunday in an area near Patikul.
Initial debriefing from the two men indicated that the suspects wanted to use them as human shields against the constant military pressure.
However, the bandits got tired of guarding and accompanying the victims and decided to free them.
Sobejana added that there were also reports that the brigands tried to have the two ransomed for Php 2 million but this came to naught as the victims' families do not have that kind of money, prompting the suspects to release the two unharmed.
Pursuit operations are still ongoing as this posting.
Source: Philippines News Agency