Families of Malaysians kidnap victims praying for official confirmation of loved ones' safe release

AVILA GERALDINE

KOTA KINABALU: Family members have not received information with regards to the rescue of two Malaysian sailors, who were kidnapped along with three others in Lahad Datu waters eight months ago.

Gustiah Sultan, 46, said she has not been informed of the news but confirmed that her husband Tayudin Anjut, 45, and Abdul Rahim Summas, 62, were in the photo published by the Philippine media.

“No one has contacted us but we are waiting for good news. We never stopped praying for their safety and release,” said Gustiah.

According to an official statement, Western Mindanao Command commander Major General Carlito Galvez said the Philippine Fleet-Marine team rescued Tayudin and Abdul Rahim at 2am in waters off Kalinggalang Caluang near Pata Island, Sulu Province.

The team composed of sailors and marines under the Joint Task Force Sulu.

“The rescued victims were weak and in a sickly state when they were rescued by our troops. Military doctors are now attending to them,” he said, adding the military will be recording statements from the victims.

Galvez said the marines received information that Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Alhabsy Misaya, with about 30 armed followers and two hostages, were hiding at the mangrove area of Barangay Karudong in Kalinggalang Caluang, Sulu.

“This prompted the marines to focus their efforts on the reported area in order to rescue the victims.

“This accomplishment is a product of the combined efforts of our soldiers and the different stakeholders in putting pressure on the kidnappers for the past months.

“WestMinCom troops are continuing pursuit against the kidnap for ransom groups to rescue the remaining kidnap victims and continue the pressure on the Abu Sayyaf to release their hostages and possibly for them to surrender to authorities,” he said.

On July 18 last year, five Malaysians were reported missing after the tugboat Serudong 3 was found abandoned at Den Haven off Lahad Datu waters.

They are Abdul Rahim Summas, 62 (Tawau), Tayudin Anjut, 45 (Tawau), Fandy Bakran, 26 (Tawau), Mohd Jumadil Rahim, 23 (Tawau), and Mohd Ridzuan Ismail, 32 (Pahang)

They had on July 17 boarded the tugboat in Sandakan and were heading to Semporna.