Terror group frees Australian hostage
Family pays ransom to Abu Sayyaf kidnappers
- ucanews.com reporter, Manila
- March 25, 2013
A Filipino terrorist group released a retired Australian serviceman on Saturday in the southern city of Pagadian in Mindanao, after more than a year in captivity.
Reports said Australian national Richard Warren Rodwell's family paid a P4 million (about US$100,000) ransom to the Abu Sayyaf bandits for the Australian's release.
"No one from our government or from the Australian government extended help to raise money for the ransom. We alone raised the money," Miraflor Gutang, Rodwell’s wife and a Philippine national, told reporters. Both the Philippine and Australian governments have strict policies against paying ransom.
Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr welcomed Rodwell's release.
"This is great news for Mr Rodwell and his family," Carr said. "The Rodwell family has shown enormous courage throughout this ordeal," he said.
Carr congratulated the Philippine authorities for their "professionalism and dedication" in securing Rodwell’s release.
"The Philippine government... deserve congratulations for their tireless efforts on Mr Rodwell’s behalf," said Carr.
Authorities said Rodwell was held by Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Basilan province, a known bailiwick of the group known for its ties to the terrorist al-Qaeda network.
Residents found Rodwell, who was abducted by seven gunmen in Zamboanga City in December 2011, in a fishing port in Pagadian.