Trillium: Sibugay teachers not in Basilan province

Posted on Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 and is filed under Defense, Feature. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines/ BP Garcia–-A top military official who is in charge of the rescue operations for the kidnap victims in Basilan province said there is no confirmation that the teachers from Zamboanga Sibugay are already in Basilan.

Newly-promoted Rear Admiral Alexander Pama, chief of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NavForWesMin), explained Tuesday there is still “no eyeball contact” to confirm the teachers’ presence in Basilan.

Pama heads the Task Force Trillium created to address the kidnapping problem in Basilan province, south of this city.

The teachers identified as Jocelyn Enriquez, Jocelyn Inion and Noime Mandi of Bangkaw-Bangkaw Elementary School were seized last March 13 offshore Zamboanga Sibugay province.

They were aboard a motorized banca (canoe) traveling to Naga town proper from the village of Bangkaw-Bangkaw when four gunmen aboard another motorized banca intercepted and seized them.

Senior Supt. Federico Castro, who heads Task Force Bangkaw-Bangkaw, said one of the kidnappers informed them by phone that the teachers are already in Basilan province.

The teachers were turned over to one of the Basilan-based kidnap groups by the pirates, led by Kamsa Asdanal, who seized them.

Pama said that since then no one has seen the Zamboanga Sibugay teachers in Basilan unlike the other hostages.

The other hostages that are confirmed to be in Basilan province are the three teachers from Zamboanga City.

Pama said they are held together in Mohammad Ajul town area together with the nine-year old child seized in Lamitan City.

He disclosed that Sri Lankan peace advocate Umar Jaleel is held captive in Tipo-Tipo area while Leah Patris, the lending firm employee, is held hostage in Sumisip town area.

The safety of the hostages are of paramount concern as rescue efforts continue aimed to recover all of the capatives, Pama said. (BP Garcia, The PhilSouth Angle)

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