Guide of abducted foreign birdwatchers escaped

THE local guide of two abducted foreign birdwatchers in Tawi-Tawi was able to escape from their captors after jumping out in the sea Wednesday evening (February 1), police reports said today.

PNP spokesman, Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr., quoting reports from the field, said that Ivan Sarenas escaped by jumping out from the speeding pump boat at around 9 p.m. while on their way to Sulu.

Sarenas served as the local guide of birdwatchers, Lorenzo Vinciguerra, 47, a Swiss and Ewold Horn, 52, a Dutch, who were abducted earlier by five armed gunmen, the PNP spokesman said.

The three were on a birdwatching trip in Sitio Look-Look in Brgy, Parangan, Panglima Sugala town when they were seized by five heavily armed gunmen.

The abductors carrying an M203, two M16 rifles and two .45 caliber pistols were on board a pump boat and brought their captives to nearby Sulu province, a known hotbed of militants such as the Abu Sayyaf  Group (ASG).

The PNP spokesman said that the Tawi-Tawi Crisis Management Committee was activated immediately after the abduction while ARMM OIC Mujiv Hataman was on his way to assess the situation. Anthony Vargas

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