Saturday, July 18, 2009

Philippine security forces rescue 5 abducted logging workers

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 18, 2009) – Security forces rescued Saturday five logging workers abducted by gunmen in the southern Philippine of Lanao del Sur, officials said.

Officials said the victims were seized by eight gunmen on July 15 in the village of Panoruganan in Kapai town. “The rescued hostages are now in the custody of the 103rd Infantry Brigade,” said First Lieutenant Steffani Cacho, a regional military spokeswoman.

She said the hostages were moved from one place to another until soldiers and policemen tracked them down and rescued the victims - Eudillo Padilla, Rene Morteza, Felipe Lanuza, Vicky Lanuza and Jerald Cabanig - all workers of the Vicmar logging concession. Cacho did not say if there was a firefight between security forces and gunmen.

Cacho said the armed band was led by Basit Kauyag. She did not say if Kauyug is a member of any rebel group. But bandits and Moro rebels are actively operating in the area. (Mindanao Examiner)

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