ZAMBOANGA CITY - The two Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel who were able to escape from their captors in Indanan, Sulu arrived in Zamboanga City Thursday evening.
Seaman First Class Rod Pagaling and Seaman Second Class Gringo Villaruz were escorted by top military and PCG officials as they arrived at the Naval Forces Western Mindanao's Majini Pier.
The two Coast Guard personnel did not sustain any injuries.
Pagaling said they were able to escape as military forces raided the Abu Sayyaf's hideout.
He said he jumped into a ravine and ran away from the Abu Sayyaf Group's camp until he reached a civilian community where he sought for help.
Commodore Joel Garcia, head of Task Force Sagip, denied speculations that ransom was paid in exchange for the release of the two Coast Guard members.
Garcia said the negotiations with the kidnappers stopped more than a month ago, when the Task Force Sagip was created.
Lieutenant General Rustico Guerrero, commander of Western Mindanao Command, congratulated Joint Task Force Sulu headed by its commander, Brigadier General Alan Arrojado, for a job well done in its effort to rescue the two kidnap victims.
Guerrero said Pagaling and Villaruz saw several other kidnap victims in Abu Sayyaf hideouts in Indanan and Patikul, Sulu areas.
This information will be used in rescue attempts of other kidnap victims, Guerrero added.
Meanwhile, Commodore Pablo Gonzales, commander of the PCG in Western Mindanao district, said Pagaling and Villaruz will be brought to Manila on Friday morning to reunite with their families.
They have yet to decide whether the two will be re-assigned to other areas or will be ordered to go back to their previous assignment.
The PCG personnel were abducted along with Aliguay barangay chairman Rodolfo Boligao who was killed last week following an alleged failure of negotiations between the family and the bandits.