Troops hunt down Sayyaf executioners in Basilan
BASILAN – Soldiers were hunting down Abu Sayyaf militants who beheaded 7 people they seized in the restive province of Basilan.
Their decomposing bodies were discovered recently in separate areas in Lantawan town where the militants abducted them. The victims’ families had identified and claimed the cadavers.
Two of those beheaded were pro-government militias Roberto Lacastesantos and Renato Casiple and the others – Mamerto Falcasantos, Rene Sanson, Hernando Sally, Nestor Divinagracia and Ely Divinagracia – were loggers.
Their families demanded justice for the brutal murders. Security and government officials previously trumpeted the surrender of dozens of Abu Sayyaf fighters in Basilan since last year and claimed the militants were on the run due to relentless operation against them.
Those who surrendered were also provided financial aid and livelihood program while others allegedly helped the military in the operations against the Abu Sayyaf, blamed by authorities for the spate of killings and ransom kidnappings in Basilan.