By: Denz Laguipo
TWO days after the Philippine and Malaysian leaders agreed to cooperate to each other in addressing kidnapping problem in the two countries, the notorious terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) kidnapped some 6 Vietnamese nationals in Basilan.
The disclosure about the news was done by the command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Mindanao few hours after President Rodrigo R. Duterte arrived from his official two-day visit to Malaysia.
On November 10, Malaysian Najib Razak told the media in a press conference that he and Duterte have agreed that Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam should help and cooperate to each other to end kidnapping activities of ASG.
Initially, Razak said they allow the law enforcers of each country to carry out hot pursuit operations against the terrorist-cum-kidnapping groups.
The agreement would be further discussed and developed on November 22 in Vietnam.
Duterte did not say anything about the latest kidnapping incident.
According Major Filemon Tan Jr., spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command, a report from the Philippine Coast Guard showed that at least 6 Vietnamese nationals were kidnapped by an armed group after it attacked the MV Royal 16 near Sibago Island in Lamitan City, Basilan.
Basilan is one of the strongholds of ASG.
The AFP has been carrying out an all-out military operations against ASG in Basilan and Sulu and nearby areas as the terrorist group refused to end their terrorist and criminal activities.
The incident took place few days after a German woman was killed following she and her spouse were kidnapped by an armed group.
These kidnapping activities against foreign nationals have been happening in Basilan and Sulu, but the government appeared inutile in decisively putting end to it.