ZAMBOANGA CITY — The rescued Malaysian fisherman held captive by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits died while under medical treatment in a hospital in this southern port city, military officials announced.
Col. Gerry Besana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, disclosed that Jari Abdullah, 34, expired at about 1:17 p.m. Tuesday.
Besana said Abdullah’s death, caused by gunshot wounds inflicted by his ASG captors during the rescue operation, was witnessed by his family and officials of the Malaysian embassy and International Monitoring Team (IMT).
He added that Abdullah’s family executed a waiver consenting to the removal of his life support.
Abdullah was rescued by troops of the Philippine Marine Ready Force – Sulu that engaged bandits under Najir Arik on Simisa Island, Banguingi, Sulu on April 4.
Brig. Gen. Divino Rey Pabayo Jr., Joint Task Force Sulu commander, earlier said the troops retrieved Abdullah near the ASG’s withdrawal route, 15 minutes after they engaged the bandits under Arik in a firefight.
Pabayo said Abdullah managed to escape, although wounded since “he was shot by his captors before he was secured by the troops.”
“We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families of Abdullah. Our troops are exhausting all efforts to defeat the Abu Sayyaf bandits and bring justice to the victims of terror,” said Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, Westmincom chief.
Meanwhile, Westmincom officials, led by dela Vega, turned over rescued Indonesian fisherman, Heri Ardiansyah, to Indonesian DAFA Col. Sigit Himawan Sutanto.
Ardiansyah was rescued on April 5 in the waters off Simisa Island – along with another Indonesian fisherman, Hariadin, who goes only by one name. Unfortunately, Hariadin drowned.
Pabayo said Ardiansyah and Hariadin tried to swim across the channel towards Banglao Island as the Marine forces and Abu Sayyaf bandits under Arik fought.
The remains of Hariadin was brought to Manila on Monday.
Ardiansyah, Hariadin, and Abdullah were seized from their boat while they were fishing in Pegasus Reef Kinabatangan, Malaysia on December 6, 2018. (PNA)