3 more Indonesians freed by Abus

Abu Sayyaf released three more Indonesian fishermen Saturday night in a village in Sulu province. This happened hours after also releasing a Norwegian hostage who had been kept captive for a year.

3 more Indonesians freed by Abus
Photo by Philstar
The three Indonesians were namely Lorence Koten, 34; Toe Doros Kofong, 42; and Emmanuel Araklan 40.

According to Major Filemon Tan, spokesman for the military’s Western Mindanao Command, the three of them were kidnapped July 19 from Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia.

Furthermore, they were brought to Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital to undergo medial examination and debriefing. They are set to meet with President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City last night, together with Norwegian captive Kjartan Sekkingstad.

The three Indonesians and Sekkingstad left Jolo, Sulu separately yesterday. Tan said that Sekkingstad was with Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza while the oher three were escorted by Joint Task Force Sulu commander Brig. Gen. Arnel dela Vega to Zamboanga City.

The Indonesians were turned over to Indonesian authorities.

Meanwhile, a security source who wishes to remain anonymous said that the release of the captives “was a result of payment of unspecified amount of ransom.” However, this could not be confirmed by Military officials.

“There was no immediate detail as to the circumstances of their release, except that they were reportedly freed by their Abu Sayaff captors.”

According to Tan, there are five more Indonesian tugboat crews in captivity.

He also said that the release was an offshoot of ongoing military operations to further pressure the terrorist group, as ordered by the President.

“Simultaneous land, air, naval, and police operations complemented each other, putting pressure on the ASG,” he added.

Naval group have conducted amphibious raids in the islands of Pata and Kalinggalang Caluang in Sulu, where they were able to confiscate 15 unregistered motor boats. One of them, according to Tan, is believed to be used by bandit leader Alhabsy Misaya. Misaya is allegedly behind the kidnapping of Indonesian and Malaysian tugboat crews.

The boats were turned over to the Maritime Industry Authority in Sulu. ASCS