ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Philippine military on Thursday said Abu Sayyaf militants have freed a kidnapped Indonesian skipper of a fishing boat in the southern province of Sulu in the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao.
It said the 38-year old Herman Bin Manggak, who was kidnapped along two others on August 3 in Sabah, Malaysia was handed over by the Abu Sayyaf to the former rebel group Moro National Liberation Front under Nur Misuari.
The Western Mindanao Command did not release details surrounding the release of the Indonesian or whether ransom had been paid to the militants whose group is tied to the Islamic State.
But security officials said Herman was turned over by the MNLF to the military’s Joint Task Force Sulu on September 22 where the foreigner was interviewed by army interrogators at Camp Teodulfo Bautista before being handed over to the Western Mindanao Command.
“Western Mindanao Command emphasizes the efforts of Joint Task Force Sulu troops in conducting continuous focused military operations to track down and destroy the Abu Sayyaf group responsible for the series of kidnappings and atrocities in the area,” the military said.
Malaysian authorities said Herman is the captain of a Malaysian-flagged fishing vessel and that two of his crew members – an Indonesian and a Malaysian national – had been released earlier by the kidnappers, who originally demanded 10,000 ringgit ransom.
The MNLF did not release any statement, but Misuari’s group helped seek the release of over a dozen Indonesian hostages, including a Norwegian man kidnapped last year in Samal Island in Davao del Norte province in Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner)
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