Abu Sayyaf releases 3 Indonesian captives
ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Abu Sayyaf released Saturday night three Indonesian fishermen in an undisclosed village in Sulu province, according to a military official.
But a separate security source, who is privy on the ongoing operation but asked not to be named as he is not authorized, disclosed that the captives were released after paying an unspecified amount of ransom.
The military official could not comment on the reported ransom payment.
The freed captives identified as Lorens Koten, Teodurus Kofung and Emmanuel were recovered by police and military authorities after they were presented by a local official, Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., spokesman of Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said here Sunday.
The victims were abducted last July 9 off Lahad Datu, Sabah and brought to Sulu as captives of the Abu Sayyaf.
“There was no immediate detail as to the circumstances of their release except that they were reportedly freed by their Abu Sayyaf captors,” Tan said.
Tan said five Indonesians are still in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf.
Koten, Kofung and Emmanuel’s freedom also came barely 24 hours since the Abu Sayyaf released Friday night their Norwegian captive Kjartan Sekkingstad after paying a ransom of P30 million.
Tan said Sekkingstad and the Indonesians were flown separately Sunday afternoon from Jolo, Sulu.
He added that Sekkingstad was escorted by Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza to Davao City while the Indonesian fishermen were escorted by Joint Task Force Sulu commander Brig. Gen. Arnel dela Vega to this city.
Dela Vega turned over the custody of the rescued fishermen to Indonesian authorities, according to Tan.