Abu Sayyafs free remaining DSWD staff

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Abu Sayyaf bandits have freed the last of the four government workers abducted in the province of Sulu, a top police official announced Wednesday.

Sulu police director Senior Superintendent Abraham Orbita said Robert Saputalo was freed around 10 p.m. Tuesday in the village of Danag, Patikul town.

Saputalo were among the four staff of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DSWD-Armm) that were abducted by the Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu.

Orbita said Saputalo was recovered by policemen in the village of Kagay in the nearby Talipao town after the latter walked for hours upon his release.

Orbita said Saputalo was taken to the provincial headquarters and was brought to the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) for medical check-up.

He said Saputalo was released “due to the pressure of law enforcement operations by the security sector and the local government units.”

Saputalo and his three other co-workers were conducting survey for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the DSWD when they were seized last July 17 in the village of Upper Sinumaan, Patikul town. Read the related story here.

One of the four, Lerma Jurah, was freed a day after the village of Danag, Patikul.

The other two, Agustino Sicangco and his wife, Nurhati, were released last Sunday also in the village of Danag, Patikul.

Orbita said Saputalo has reunited with his family after undergoing medical check-up. (Sunnex)

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