MANILA, Philippines – Twelve Malaysians allegedly abducted by Indonesian pirates were rescued off the coast of Datu Blah Sinsuat town in Maguindanao at around 3:40 p.m. on Tuesday, authorities said.
Col. Alexander Balutan, commander of the 1st Marine Brigade based in Cotabato City, said the 12 Malaysians rescued were spotted by his men about three miles from their command post in Maguindanao.
Balutan said the foreigners were on board two cargo vessels, the Woodman 38 and 39, and were headed to Indonesia when a group of pirates hijacked their ships on Friday.
The pirates then ordered them to get on a life raft and left them in the middle of the Celebes Sea at around 2 a.m. on Monday, Balutan added.
They foreigners were identified as Kyan Dpho Loin, Tie Sieng Huang, Marthen Lukas, Aris Ariynto, Runji Bin Chew, Rate Jusuf, Fredy Nak Nain, Razali Bin Mok, Inyoman Buda Artha, S. Sutomo, Zamroni Umur and a certain Mulki.
“They are dehydrated but are okay. They were treated for minor injuries before their turnover to the Bureau of Immigration,” said Balutan.
The rescue was conducted by the 1st Marine Battalion Landing Team headed by Lt. Col. Custodio Parcon.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the rescued victims were given assistance by the mayor of Datu Blah Sinsuat.