Kidnapped Australian freed PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 March 2013 18:53

After 16 months in captivity, Warren Rodwell, a retired Australian soldier who was kidnapped in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, was released by his captors at dawn yesterday in Pagadian City.

Rodwell was kidnapped in his house in Ipil on December 5, 2011 by the Abu-Sayyaf group reportedly led by notorious commander Puruji Indama, whose area of operation is Basilan.

He was brought to Basilan by his kidnappers where he stayed for at least 15 months before he was freed at dawn yesterday. Negotiations were initiated earlier to free Rodwell but all yielded negative results until yesterday when the kidnappers set him free.

Basilan Vice-Governor Alraheed Sakalahul, also confirmed the release saying  that he has received a call from Indama informing him that his men left Rodwell in Pagadian City about 1:30 a.m.

Sakkalahul immediately called Police Supt. Mario Dapillosa, Basilan PNP Provincial Director, and Col. Charlie Galvez, Provincial Army Brigade commander to coordinate with other law enforcement counterparts.

Meanwhile, Police Supt. Ariel Huesca, PIO of PRO-9, disclosed that about 1 a.m., a civilian named Nathaniel Tampos, saw Rodwell walking at the Pagadian port area. Tampos reported the incident to the Pagadian Police Station, whose men led by Police Supt. Julius Munes immediately responded, and brought Rodwell to the police station for safe keeping.

A helicopter from the military’s Western Mindnao Command was sent to Pagadian City to fetch the released kidnap victim. He was brought to Zamboanga City, where he was put under medical attention at Camp Navarro General Hospital before he was brought to Manila.

Police and military authorities were mum on whether or not ransom was paid for the freedom of the Australian. — Noning R. Antonio