The Jakarta Post
The four Indonesian sailors who were held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf militant group in the Philippines are currently undergoing medical examination, the foreign minister has said.
"They are now going through health checks. We have also spoken to the families of the hostages to give them updates about their condition," Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said on Wednesday during a press briefing shortly after the announcement of the hostages' release.
The hostages are still on Sulu Island in the Philippines and under the authority of the local government. A team from Indonesia has been deployed to the location of the men, she added.
Retno said preliminary observations had shown the men to be in healthy condition, which the Indonesian team on the field had confirmed.
The message has been conveyed to the families, who she said were relieved to hear the news.
Retno dismissed questions from reporters about the identity of the kidnappers and their affiliation.
She said the government was now only focusing on the health of the hostages and their safe return.
"Since this morning, I have been continuously communicating with the Philippine foreign minister and military commander to discuss the return of the hostages to Indonesia," Retno said.
She also refused to comment on speculation of a ransom payment or any details of the negotiation to secure their release
The minister reiterated the Indonesian government’s appreciation to the Philippine authorities, noting the good cooperation between the two governments.
President Jokowi earlier announced that the four remaining Indonesians who were held captive by the terror group in the Philippines had been released safely.
The four sailors had been employed as crew members aboard the tugboat Henry, and barge Christie, sailing in Malaysian and Philippine waters in mid-April when they were taken hostage by the Abu Sayyaf group. (dan)
The Jakarta Post reporter Tama Salim contributed to this article.
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