MANILA - The military on Tuesday said has returned the 4 rescued Indonesian kidnap victims to their government, days after they were redeemed from the hands of the Abu Sayyaf in Tawi-Tawi.
Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana and Philippine National Police OIC Guillermo Eleazar led the turnover ceremony.
The 4 Indonesian nationals, Riswanto Bin Hayono, Arical Kastamiran, Arsyad Bin Dahalan, and Khairuldin Bin Yai Kii, were received by the their embassy's charge d’affaires Widya Rahmanto.
The military said they were flown through the Philippine Air Force C-130 aircraft from Edwin Andrews Air Base in Zamboanga City to Manila last Sunday.
All 4 were kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf group last year. Three of them were rescued on Thursday last week, while another one was rescued on Sunday, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom).
Rahmanto thanked law enforcement authorities for rescuing the victims.
"On behalf of the government of Indonesia, we are forever grateful for the support and immediate actions to save the victims," he was quoted as saying.
The victims had said that there were 5 of them, all workers under a Malaysian fishing firm who were abducted by the Abu Sayyaf in waters off Tambisan, Malaysia on Jan. 17, 2020. One of them was killed while trying to escape during an encounter in Patikul, Sulu last Sept. 29.
The military said the victim, Daeng Akbal Labaa, died of a heart attack. His body was also given to the Indonesian government.