Captives held by ISIS in the Philippines released

By REUTERS
September 18, 2016 20:11
2 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

MANILA - Three Indonesian fishermen held by Islamic State-linked rebels in the Philippines have been released, a Philippine military spokesman said on Sunday, just hours after the militias freed a Norwegian man after a year-long ordeal.

The Indonesians - identified as Lorence Koten, Teo Doros Kofong, and Emmanuel Arakian - were released by the Abu Sayyaf group on Saturday night at an undisclosed place in Sulu in the Southwest Philippines, said spokesman Major Filemon Tan. They were taken on July 9 this year from the Malaysian state of Sabah, he said.

The Indonesians were set free just hours after the same group notorious for kidnappings, beheadings and extortion released Norwegian captive Kjartan Sekkingstad, who met President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City on Sunday evening.

Sekkingstad was taken from an upscale resort on Samal island in Davao del Norte along with a Filipina, who has already been freed, and two Canadians, whom the militants later executed.

While it is widely believed that no captives are released by the Abu Sayyaf without the payment of ransom, the Philippine government said it did not pay the group and was unaware of any payment made by other parties for the release of the victims.

"I would like to reiterate that the government maintains the no-ransom policy," Communications Minister Martin Andanar said. Now if there was a third party who made the payment, if it's the family (of those kidnapped), we are not aware of that."

The Philippine military insists the release of the kidnap victims was a result of the ongoing intensified military operations against the Abu Sayyaf, with the assistance of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), one of the two major Muslim rebel groups based in the south of the mainly Catholic nation.

In a media briefing in Davao City, Duterte lauded the efforts of his peace adviser Jesus Dureza, former Sulu Governor Abdusakur Mahail Tan, and MNLF leader Nur Misuari.

Dureza confirmed the release of the Indonesian captives.

Duterte told Sekkingstad and the Norwegian government that justice would be sought for his abduction.

"I am very happy to be alive and free," Sekkingstad said at the briefing.

A new round of peace talks between the Philippine government and the Maoist-led rebels resumed in Norway in August to end nearly five decades of conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people.

Related Content

Breaking news
August 21, 2018
Gabay: As long as we remain strong, out agreements will be upheld

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF