ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Members of the Abu Sayyaf freed on Sunday the three-year-old grandson of Pitogo Mayor Richard Garban in Indanan, Sulu.

Brigadier General Alan Arrojado, Joint Task Group Sulu commander, said the three-year-old hostage (name withheld for being a minor) was spotted “without a companion” by a concerned citizen around 2:42 p.m. Sunday in the village of Buanza.

“Immediately, the concerned citizen approached the child and at the same time informed the military unit of the KV’s (kidnap victim’s) presence in the area,” said Arrojado, who is also the Army’s 501st Infantry Brigade commander.

Arrojado did not say whether ransom was paid in exchange for the release of the child.

He said the child was taken to Barangay Tulay, Jolo, and was turned over to the Jolo Internal Defense Force. The victim was then brought to the Trauma hospital in Camp Bautista for medical check-up.

Efforts to contact relatives of the child in Zamboanga del Sur are underway, he added.

Arrojado said they have coordinated with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the custody of the child while waiting for his family to fetch him.

The three-year-old child was seized on March 31, 2015 by 10 Abu Sayyaf gunmen together with his two-year-old brother, whose body was plucked out from the seawaters of Zamboanga del Sur on April 3, 2015.

Also seized was bakery worker Ledegie Tomarong, 17, who was released on July 20, 2015 in the village of Kagay, Indanan, Sulu. (Sunnex)