Saturday, February 27, 2010

Philippine forces rescue 2 kidnapped Chinese men

BASILAN, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 26, 2010) – Philippine security forces rescued two kidnapped Chinese nationals late Friday in the southern province of Basilan after more than 3 months in captivity, police told the Mindanao Examiner.

Police said the duo - Zi Shun Lu, 51, alias Oscar Lu; and Bo Shung Tan, 27, alias Michael Tan, both from Guangzhou, China – were rescued at around 8:20 p.m. in the village of Binembengan in Sumisip town.

“They were brought to hospital for medical examinations,” Senior Superintendent Antonio Mendoza, the provincial police chief, said.

He did not give details of the rescue, saying, operation is going on to capture the kidnappers.

Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf militants kidnapped the Chinese men on November 10 from a plywood factory in Basilan’s Maluso town along with a Filipino worker, Mark Singson, who was later beheaded after his employer Hi-Tech Wood Craft Corporation failed to pay ransom.

The kidnappers headed by Puruji Indama originally demanded P15 million for the release of the hostages. The two foreigners were previously reported to be Filipino citizens, but later investigations revealed they are Chinese nationals and probably illegal workers hired by George Tan, owner of the plywood factory.

Last week, two government soldiers were killed and another was wounded in a landmine explosion while searching for the Chinese men in the village of Pamatsaken in Sumisip town.

Last year, Abu Sayyaf militants kidnapped three government teachers - Noemi Mandi, Jocelyn Enriquez and Jocelyn Inion – in Zamboanga Sibugay’s Naga town and brought them to Basilan province where they had been later freed in exchange for ransoms.

Three other state teachers Janette de los Reyes, Freires Quizon and Rafael Mayonado, all kidnapped in Zamboanga City, were also brought to Basilan and released four months later after private negotiators ransom to the Abu Sayyaf.

But a faction of the Abu Sayyaf last year also beheaded a school principal, Gabriel Canizares, in nearby Sulu province after his family failed to raise two million pesos ransom. His head was found at a petrol station in the capital town of Jolo. (Mindanao Examiner)

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