The Jakarta Post
The last remaining Indonesian fisherman held hostage by the notorious Abu Sayyaf militant group in the Sulu Sea region was rescued on Wednesday evening by the Philippine military, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
The fisherman, Muhammad Farhan, 24, was rescued in Bato-Bato, Indanan municipality on the Philippine’s southern island of Jolo at 6:45 p.m. on Jan. 15. He was one of three Indonesians kidnapped in the waters off Tambisan Island, Lahad Datu, Malaysia on Sept. 23. Two other hostages, Maharudin, who is Farhan’s father, and Samiun had been rescued in December last year and were already reunited with their families.
“The Indonesian government appreciates all the efforts by the Philippine authorities, including Division 11 of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Sulu, for its efforts to rescue the Indonesian hostages,” the ministry said in a press statement.
With the rescue of Farhan, all of the Indonesian hostages held by Abu Sayyaf have been brought to safety.
The Philippine authorities are to soon hand Farhan to the Indonesian Embassy in Manila, which is to then send him home to Indonesia.
“Farhan has undergone a medical examination in Westmincom Hospital, Zamboanga and is currently in a healthy condition,” the ministry said.
All three fishermen are from Buton, an island located 1,300 kilometers from Sabah, off the southeast peninsula of Sulawesi.
In December, the Foreign Ministry said that in the efforts to rescue the first two fishermen, Indonesia undertook diplomatic measures at all levels, including communications between President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his Philippine counterpart, Rodrigo Duterte, as well as coordination between Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. (asp/ipa)