10 Indonesians taken from tugboat released by militants in the Philippines: Report

Indonesian mother Asmizar showing a photograph of her son Wendy Rahadian, who was one of the 10 men kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf on March 26, 2016.
Indonesian mother Asmizar showing a photograph of her son Wendy Rahadian, who was one of the 10 men kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf on March 26, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

Islamist militants in strife-torn southern Philippines on Sunday (May 1) released 10 Indonesians they snatched from a tugboat on March 26.

Superintendent Wilfredo Cayat, police chief of Sulu, 1,000km south of the capital Manila, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the hostages were dropped off in front of the house of Sulu Governor Abdusakar Mahail Tan at around noon.

"They were brought inside (the house). They were fed. Governor Tan called me, and they turned over the 10 to our custody. We are preparing now to bring the 10 to Zamboanga and turn them to their consular office," said Supt Cayat.

The Indonesians were released purportedly after their ransom was paid on April 29.

Abu Sayyaf, the group said to be behind the abduction, had demanded 50 million pesos (S$1.42 million) for all 10.

 

The Indonesians were ferrying coal from Jakarta to Manila when they were taken near the Malaysian border.

The Indonesians were released after the Abu Sayyaf beheaded Canadian John Ridsdel, 68, a former mining executive and journalist, on April 25.

Abu Sayyaf, known for kidnappings, beheadings, bombings and extortion, is one of the most hardline Islamist militant groups, with strongholds in the largely lawless Sulu archipelago, over 1,000km south of the capital Manila.

Four other Indonesians, four Malaysians, another Canadian, a Norwegian, and a Dutchman are believed to be still being held by the Abu Sayyaf.