- Defense Secreatary Delfin Lorenzana admitted that ransom has been paid to Abu Sayyaf for the release of 2 Indonesian hostages
- Lorenzana made the admission during the Fullerton Forum in Singapore
- He said the ransom was paid despite the government’s efforts to convince the captives’ families and employers not to give in to the bandits’ demands
Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana admitted early this week that P20 million was paid to the Abu Sayyaf Group in exchange for the release of two Indonesian hostages.
As per the Inquirer, the two Indonesian captives, who were among the 7 Indonesian sailors held hostage by the bandits, were freed by their captors last month after almost six months in captivity. The other five Indonesian hostages were released earlier.
At a forum he attended in Singapore from January 22 to 24, Secretary Lorenzana said the company that employed the two Indonesian hostages paid the ransom demanded by the Abu Sayyaf Group despite the government’s efforts to convince them not to give in to the bandits’ demands.
“The government is trying to convince the companies and the families not to pay ransom because every time they pay ransom they make the kidnappers stronger,” the Defense secretary said.
“They have more money to distribute to the communities and they have more money to procure all the gadgets that they need—cell phones, firearms and even materials to manufacture improvised explosive devices,” he added.
The two Indonesian captives, Mohammad Nazer, 62, and Robin Peter, 32, were released on December 12, 2016.