Three More Indons Kidnapped Off Lahad Datu In July Freed

The three Indonesians are Ferry Arifin, Edi Soryonu, and Mohammad Mabrur Dahri having their particulars taken down. - Photo courtesy of the Joint Task Force Sulu
The three Indonesians are Ferry Arifin, Edi Soryonu, and Mohammad Mabrur Dahri having their particulars taken down. – Photo courtesy of the Joint Task Force Sulu

MANILA – The Abu Sayyaf released 3 more Indonesian hostages at noon on Sunday. They were kidnapped last July 19 in Lahad Datu, Sabah by the bandits, and upon release were taken in by the MNLF in Indanan, Sulu.

The release of the hostages identified as Edi Suryono, Ferry Arifin, and Muhamad Mabrur Dahri comes after 4 other Indonesians were released in the past two weeks, Philippines portal, Rappler.com reported late Sunday.

The former hostages were released by the Abu Sayyaf in Indanan, and were received by MNLF forces under Commander Tahil Sali, Abraham Joe, and Commodore White Lion, according to an initial report from the military.

Presidential Peace Adviser Sec. Jesus Dureza said they were turned over by Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari to Sulu Governor Abdusakur “Totoh” Tan Jr.

The freed Indonesian sailors get off a plane upon their arrival at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, Jakarta.
The Indonesian sailors get off a plane upon arrival at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, Jakarta.

“Chairman Misuari personally called me and informed me about another breakthrough in the efforts to recover hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf Group,” Dureza said in a statement.

Nur Misuari
Nur Misuari

“He requested me to relay this new development to President Rodrigo Duterte, in whose behalf I expressed gratitude for the efforts,” Dureza added.

Dureza said the governor will turn over custody of the Indonesians to Sulu military commander General Arnel dela Vega.

Duterte has sought talks with Misuari’s MNLF. He is counting on the group that has strong presence in Sulu to help the government end the atrocities of the Abu Sayyaf, a loose network of militants that has earned millions of dollars from kidnappings-for-ransom.

Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Ricardo Visaya vowed to end the Abu Sayyaf before he steps down in December. Thousands of troops were deployed to the island to hunt down members of the Abu Sayyaf.

On Sept 18, three other hostages, Lorence Koten, Theorus Kopong, and Emanuel Arakain, were released. Two days earlier, the bandits had freed Norwegian captive Kjartan Sekkingstad.

Two remaining Indonesian sailors identified as Robin Piter and M. Nasir, are still being held captive by the militants. Authorities are continuing their efforts to facilitate a rescue.

No mention of ransom being paid to free the Indonesians was made, though the Abu Sayyaf are know to ‘charge a fee for board and lodging’ which can come up to the millions of Pesos.