Escaped hostage Philippine coast guard Seaman First Class (SN1) Rod Pagaling, center, is escorted inside a military camp in Jolo, Sulu province, southern Philippines Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. Two Philippine coast guard personnel, Pagaling and Gringo Villaruz who were threatened with beheading escaped from their Abu Sayyaf extremist captors when hundreds of troops stormed the militants' jungle base in the country's south, military officials said Thursday. Photo: Nickee Butlangan, AP
Photo and Text Credit to: http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/crime/article/2-Filipino-coast-guard-men-escape-from-Abu-Sayyaf-6455204.php#photo-8492835
The two (2) Coast Guard personnel who were kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Barangay Aliguay, Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte last May 4, 2015 were successfully rescued in Sulu by personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) today (August 20).
SN2 Gringo Villaruz was found at the vicinity of Buansa, Indanan, Sulu at around 7 a.m. while SN1 Rod Pagaling was found around the same area an hour later. The coast guard personnel escaped from their captors after a series of encounters in Sulu, Basilan and Bukidnon last August 18 and 19.
Villaruz and Pagaling were abducted by ASG with Rodolfo Buligao, barangay captain of Aliguay, last May 4. Buligao’s body was found last August 11 in Barangay Laum Maimbung in Maimbung, Sulu after he was mercilessly beheaded when their abductors’ demands were not met.
The AFP is continuously conducting focused military operations which resulted to the series of encounters with members of New People’s Army (NPA) and ASG within the past two (2) days.
Last August 18 at around 4:14 p.m., the 1st Special Forces Battalion, led by Captain Balatbat, encountered NPAs in Barangay Mendiz, Pangantucan, Bukidnon which resulted to the wounding of 2LT Balangcod and PFC Rubante and recovery of an AK47.
In August 19, PFC Paquit, cousin of Medal of Valor awardee PFC Paquit who was among the heroes of Zamboanga Siege last 2013, was killed in action after a group of 20 ASG members led by Radzmil Janatol encountered the Scout Ranger Company camp in Sitio Jungle Base, Barangay Baiwas Sumisip, Basilan at around12 noon.
Also in August 19, fifteen (15) were killed while five (5) high powered firearms, a substance believed to be “shabu” and an improvised explosive device (IED) were recovered in Sitio Marang, Barangay Buansa, Indanan, Sulu after more or less 200 ASGs engaged the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion. Five (5) bodies, believed to be members of ASG, were recovered in the area.
General Hernando DCA Iriberri, Chief of Staff AFP, reminded all our troops to make their areas of responsibility hostile to all threat groups.
In light of the bombing in Bangkok, Thailand last August 18 where 22 were killed in a tourist spot, Iriberri also ordered our troops to be more vigilant in protecting the security and safety of the communities under their areas of responsibility.