Abducted cop said to be down with malaria


Health unknown: Konst Zakiah’s kidnappers have moved him twice over the past weeks to avoid the Philippine security forces.

KOTA KINABALU: Kidnapped Marine Police personnel Konst Zakiah Aleip is said to be facing serious health problems in the Abu Sayyaf jungle hideout at Jolo island in southern Philippines.

Anti-kidnapping activist Prof Octavio Dinampo said he had been told that the 26-year-old Konst Zakiah had been bedridden for about five days.

“He appears to be suffering from malaria. I am told he also complained of diarrhoea,” he said yesterday.

Dinampo added that Abu Sayyaf gunmen had been unable to bring in a doctor to treat Konst Zakiah.

“No doctors would dare go to their hideout,” said Dinampo, a Mindanao State University lecturer who lives at Indanan, not far from the mountainous hideouts of the Abu Sayyaf.

He said Konst Zakiah had been moved at least twice over the past several weeks to avoid detection by Philippine security forces.

Malaysian security officials said they could not immediately ascertain if there were any truth to the claims.

When contacted, Konst Zakiah’s wife Sharifah Erna Berson declined to comment on the condition of her husband, except to say she was constantly awaiting word from the police.

Attempts to rescue Konst Zakiah have not been successful as his Abu Sayyaf abductors had repeatedly changed their mind and demanded more money for his release.

Konst Zakiah was abducted after a Marine Police unit at Pulau Mabul, off Semporna district, was attacked on July 12 last year.

His colleague Kpl Ab Rajah Jamuan was killed during the incident that led to the current dusk to dawn curfew in waters off Sabah’s east coast.


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