ZAMBOANGA CITY – Abu Sayyaf rebels have freed an eight-year old boy who was kidnapped along with his parents in the town of Payao in the southern Philippine province of Zamboanga Sibugay.
The boy, whose father and mother had been separately free last year, was released in Sulu’s Patikul town on Monday afternoon and immediately taken to Zamboanga City where his family anxiously waited for him.He was later brought to Manila and met with President Rodrigo Duterte.
The family reportedly paid an unspecified amount of ransom in exchange for the boy’s freedom.
Abu Sayyaf rebels kidnapped the boy and his father Elmer, and mother Nora in the village of Kulisap on August 5 and brought them to the province. The rebels freed the woman on August 22 so she can raise money to pay the ransom. Her husband was also released on November 14 in Jolo town.
The military’s Western Mindanao Command tagged Ador Abdullah and Haber Susukan as behind the kidnapping of the family.
The Abu Sayyaf is still holding over two dozen Asian sailors since last year after rebels hijacked their cargo ships off Sabah in Malaysia; Tawi-Tawi and Basilan provinces in the Muslim autonomous region.
Just recently, the group beheaded a 70-year old German sailor, Jurgen Kantner, after his family failed to raise P30 million ransom demanded by the ISIS-affiliate Abu Sayyaf rebels. (Mindanao Examiner)