After almost a month in captivity, three of the four abducted construction workers by the Abu Sayyaf were finally reunited with their families in Zamboanga City on Friday.
Jason Vailoces, Joel Adanza, and Filemon Guerrero Jr., were airlifted to Zamboanga City from Sulu after their alleged escape from the Abu Sayyaf.
In a Western Mindanao Command press briefing, Adanza recalled how they were able to escape from the tight security of the bandits.
Adanza said, it was past noon Thursday, when they had the opportunity to escape, while most of the bandits were busy for their regular prayer or sambahayang.
He said he and Vailoces took the opportunity to run as fast as they could, in the densely covered uplands of Patikul, Sulu.
Adanza said it took them almost 13 hours to reach the village of Kagay in Talipao town.
It was also in the same village that they saw their companion Guerrero, who also escaped from the hands of their captors.
Guerrero sustained a slight injury on his head, after he was shot by the bandits while he was escaping.
He said it was a desperate move and insisted he had no other options but to take the risk and try to escape.
The captives were sleeping inside the Kawmpang Elementary School Sports Complex when around 20 Abu Sayyaf members barged in and forcibly took the victims on July 15.
Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, said one of the captives, Muymuy Ramos, remains in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf.
Sobejana said there was no ransom paid to the Abu Sayyaf for the safe release of the three construction workers.
The military is also validating information that an engineer of Sulu Provincial Office handed over fake money to the bandits as ransom.
He said the military is to the no ransom policy of the government.
Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco Salazar is now coordinating with the business sector to provide new job opportunities to the three workers.
Salazar encouraged other workers not to accept job offers in areas where there are existing threats from Abu Sayyaf and other lawless groups.