An Indonesian hostage was released by the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Sulu on Thursday more than a month after his abduction, the military's Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) spokesperson Maj. Filemon Tan said.
Indonesian Herman Bin Manggak was abducted by armed men off the waters of Sandakan, Sabah in Malaysia on August 3. According to WestMinCom, he was released to the Moro National Liberation Front and was handed over to military officials of Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS) at 11 a.m.
The military said Manggak was brought to Camp Bautista Station Hospital for a medical examination and debriefing.
"The release of the victim is the result of relentless focused military operations combined with efforts of different sectors particularly [the] LGU (local government unit) of Sulu and other stakeholders" said Brig. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu.
The Indonesian's release comes a day after the military rescued Zamboanga Del Norte businesswoman Martina Yee from the ASG, just two days after her abduction.
"[The] government's focused military operations against the Abu Sayyaf or ASG continue to gain headway," said Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar in a press conference hours after Manggak's release.
About 7,000 government troops are in Sulu to fight around 400 to 500 members of the Abu Sayyaf group (ASG).
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief Gen. Ricardo Visaya said this is the biggest force tapped against the ASG since it was formed in the early 1990s.