Government troops rescued a kidnap victim in Sirawai, Zamboanga Del Norte on Wednesday.
Information from 1st Infantry Division spokesman Captain Clint Antipala said victim Rex Triplitt, a Filipino-American, was rescued after a firefight with suspected Abu Sayyaf members in Barangay Pisa Itom. No soldier was hurt in the encounter.
Triplitt was kidnapped by armed men wearing camouflage uniforms on September 16 while he and his wife were on their way home to Barangay Piacan.
Lieutenant Colonel Leon Onggao, commander of the 42nd Infantry Battalion, said the soldiers did not stop in pursuing the suspects and rescuing the victim as they are preventing the transport of the victim to other areas.
Triplitt will undergo medical evaluation, according to the military.
Major General Gene Ponio, chief of the 1st Infantry Division, lauded the troops for the successful rescue of Triplitt.
"I laud the troops for the exemplary demonstration of professionalism and tactical skills in selectively engaging the enemy while preserving the life of the victim," Ponio said.
"This success would also not have been possible without the active participation of the different local government units and barangay officials through the crisis management center," Ponio said.
"Likewise, the concerted efforts through constant coordination, cooperation and collaboration with NICA9, PNP, Coast Guard and other AFP Units greatly contributed to this rescue operation," he added.
Meanwhile, a pursuit operation is still ongoing against the ASG members who were able to escape.—LDF, GMA News