Authorities have confirmed that ten Indonesian captives have been freed by the Abu Sayyaf on Sunday after they were paid the ransom of 50 million pesos.
No details were given on the release of the hostages. Authorities said they were informed that a group of people dropped the Indonesians off in front of the house of Abdusakur Toto Tan II, Sulu’s governor.
In a phone interview with the Inquirer, officials said: “They were brought inside, 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 official,”
The ten captives were part of a tugboat crew taken by Abu Sayyaf on March 28 as they made their way from Indonesia to Manila.
After officials paid the 50-million peso ransom, a source let the military know that the men would be freed sometime between Friday and Saturday. However officials were worried when the clock was ticking and no hostages appeared. The same source said the hostages would be freed somewhere near the town of Luuk in Jolo.
Indonesian officials have asked the Philippine government for help patrolling the waters in and around the Sulu archipelago.
A recent rash of kidnappings has taken place in the region of Sulu, prompting officials from both the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia to effectively patrol the area and keep kidnappings from constantly happening.
Officials have said they would not keep paying the ransom to deter groups from taking hostages for ransom. Only this week President Aquino told military officials to go after Abu Sayyaf, taking them out if needed, and capturing those responsible for the beheading of Canadian John Risdel who was taken from Samal Island, just outside Davao City.
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