MNLF helping track kidnapped doctor

(The Philippine Star) - February 28, 2020 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY , Philippines — Fighters of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) are helping the military track the location of a doctor seized by the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.

Daniel Moreno was seized from his clinic in Jolo on Feb. 4 by a group of bandits who are also holding captive five Indonesian fishermen.

MNLF central committee chairman Yusop Jikiri did not mention if they included the Indonesians in their monitoring.

The fishermen were seized in the waters off Lahad Datu in Sabah, Malaysia on Jan. 17.

The kidnappers took the captives to Sulu.

“What the front is working on now is to locate Dr. Moreno and identify the group that is holding him captive, so the military could rescue him,” Jikiri said.

He said villagers living near the forest and remote areas have neither monitored nor spotted the doctor since the kidnapping.

Jikiri said the MNLF is verifying information that the kidnappers are demanding ransom for the doctor’s release.

Although the military said it welcomes any help to locate and rescue the captives, it could not allow the MNLF to conduct rescue operations as it is not sanctioned by higher authorities, according to Maj. Arvin John Encinas, spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command.

He said the intelligence unit of the military has not received any information about ransom or negotiation for  the release of Moreno and the Indonesians.

Recent reports sid the bandits are holding Moreno captive in the jungles of Sulu.

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