Nine of the ten fishermen who were rescued by Philippine security forces from Jolo Island yesterday. NSTP/COURTESY OF SABAH POLICE COMMISSIONER

SANDAKAN: Nine of the ten fishermen who were abducted from Lahad Datu waters on Monday have been rescued by the Philippines security forces from Jolo Island yesterday.

The victims were seen walking around at a location when security forces spotted and rescued them at about 10am.

District police commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah confirmed to have received report on the rescue operation.

“It's true they have been rescued. They were believed to have been released by the kidnappers as they did not have the money (to pay ransom).

“The victims bumped into the security forces while walking around,” he said, adding that the police would discuss with Philippine government whether there was a need to bring the victims to Sabah.

“They don't have documents and maybe they are from the Philippines. However, they could have been born in Semporna so we will investigate,” he added.

On the other one victim, Omar said they have yet to get a report from the Philippine security forces.

“We don't know his identity and what happened to him. We will contact the others who were rescued to get details,” he said.

On Monday, gunmen stormed two fishing boats with 16 people on board at Tambisan waters. The gunmen abducted 10 of them, all of whom are sea gypsies.

Six others were rescued by Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.