Freed Sayyaf captive says ransom paid
ZAMBOANGA CITY — A recently-freed Abu Sayyaf captive said presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza had helped facilitate his release and that his family paid an “undetermined” amount of ransom for his freedom.
Jose Duterte, 66, a farmer, said he was freed by his captors on Nov. 1 around 1:30 p.m. at Barangay Kandayok, Panamao town, in Sulu after Dureza negotiated for his release.
Duterte and his wife, Jessica, were taken from their home at Barangay Santa Maria, Siocon town, Zamboanga del Norte in March 2017.
In an interview on Friday, Duterte admitted his family paid some amount for the release of Jessica on Aug. 21 last year.
Duterte, who was held for more than 20 months, also said he had not been rescued but released by his captors after Dureza negotiated for him.
Maj. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, head of the Western Mindanao Command, said he was not aware of any ransom being paid as the military continued to abide by the no-ransom policy.
“We have an existing policy against paying any ransom,” he said.
But Duterte said ransom had been paid for the release of the group’s other captives.
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