ABU Sayyaf bandits have demanded P30-million ransom in exchange for the release of five Indonesian fishermen they kidnapped on January 16 in Malaysian waters.
Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, bared this Monday, February 24, saying the five Indonesian fishermen are now in the hands of the bandits in the hinterlands of Sulu.
"Yes, we monitor a report that they (ASG) are demanding P30-million ransom. The report came from the employer and the family of the five Indonesian fisherman," Sobejana said.
He said they will stick to the "no ransom policy" of the Philippine government.
The five Indonesian fishermen were kidnapped by six gunmen clad in black suit while they were fishing in waters between Tambisan and Kuala Meruap, Lahad Datu, Sabah, close to the Philippine sea border, in the evening of January 16, 2020.
The five were among the eight crew aboard the Sabah-registered trawler.
The five Indonesian fishermen were identified as Arsyad Dahlan, 41, skipper; La Baa, 32; Riswanto Hayano, 27; Edi Lawalopo, 53; and Syarizal Kastamiran, 29. They are working for a Sandakan-based fishing company.
Meanwhile, Sobejana said there is no ransom demand yet in exchange for the release of Dr. Daniel Moreno, who was seized in the evening of February 4 from his clinic in the village of Walled City, Jolo, the capital of Sulu.
Sobejana said they are looking into the possibility that the Abu Sayyaf bandits abducted Moreno to treat bandit sub-leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, who is suffering from tuberculosis. (SunStar Zamboanga)