Chinese rescued from Abu Sayyaf brought to Manila

07/08/2010 - Filed Under: Immigration, Kidnapping, Crime and Law and Justice


MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE 2) The Chinese national rescued from the clutches of the bandit group Abu Sayyaf after being captive for almost two years arrived in Manila Wednesday morning for medical tests and further debriefing, and possibly further detention for overstaying in the country.

Senior Supt. Elmer Escosia, Sulu provincial director, accompanied Xi Li Wu, also known as Peter Go, from a Philippine Airlines flight from Zamboanga City. Their flight touched down at the NAIA terminal 2 past 9 a.m.

Escosia gave the victim’s custody to Chinese consul Wang Xiao Bo who received their compatriot at the airport. Police earlier said Wu had been recorded as an overstaying alien at the time he was abducted by the Abu Sayyaf. However, on Wednesday, local authorities said it turned out his abduction made him violate the limits of his stay.

When he entered the country in December 2008, Xi was issued a tourist visa, but this was only valid for 21 days, the official said, adding that the Chinese embassy would be meeting with immigration officials to sort the issue out.

“It is nice to see [Xi] in good health and he was brought to safety,” Wang told reporters at a press briefing.

Troops from the Sulu provincial police office encountered a group of bandits holding the victim on Monday night, Escosia said. Authorities traded shots with the armed men who were caught off guard by the attack.

“[Xi] ran away from his captors during the encounter that’s why he was not hurt,” the official said. “After we secured the victim, we also slowly withdrew from our position because it was very dark and we could not see where the fire was coming from.”

The victim, speaking through Wang who translated his reply, begged off from sharing his ordeal, saying “it was a nightmare and I don’t want to recall it.”

Asked if he would return to the Philippines despite his kidnapping, Xi replied he intended to go back to China to rest and collect his thoughts.

“I need some rest and to have a feeling of comfort and safety first before coming back,” he said.
Escosia said the bandits moved the victim often to avoid detection, but Xi was taken care by a couple whom the official said the authorities were trying to locate. (Inquirer)

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