WATCH | 2 Vietnamese hostages beheaded in Basilan – military

July 5, 2017 - 1:29 PM

MANILA, Philippines — The beheaded bodies of two Vietnamese sailors who were abducted from their vessel in November last year were found in Sumisip, Basilan early Wednesday morning, the military said.

Colonel Juvymax Uy, commander of Joint Task Force Basilan, was quoted by the Western Mindanao Command as saying the bodies of Hoang Trung Thong and Hoang Va Hai were found by a resident of Barangay Tumahubong around 5:40 a.m.

The two were among six sailors snatched off the MV Royal 16 off Sibago Island, Basilan on November 11, 2016.

Last month, one of the sailors, Hoang Vo, 28, managed to escape and was retrieved by government troops in Sitio Kumonal, Sampini Complex, Sumisip.

Medical personnel treat Vietnamese sailor Hoang Vo after he escaped his Abu Sayyaf captors in Basilan and was recovered by the military. (Westmincom photo handout)

This leaves three sailors — Pham Minh Tuan, Do Trung Hieu, and Tran Khac Dung — still in captivity.

However, although the sailors were believed abducted by the Abu Sayyaf — the military, in fact, said Hoang Vo had escaped from the Abu Sayyaf — the Westmincom statement on the discovery of the two sailors’ bodies referred only to “unknown perpetrators.”

“The cadavers will be made to undergo forensic exams as coordination with the Vietnamese embassy is also simultaneously done,” Uy said in the Westmincom statement.

Reacting to the news, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for International Economic Cooperation Manuel Teehankee called the killing of the Vietnamese “really unacceptable” even as he stressed the need for countries to “unite against (extremist) violence.”

He also said they would be communicating with the different chambers of commerce in the country to provide updates and discuss the problem of terrorism and “cooperation with the private sector to minimize (the) risks.”