MANILA, Nov 1 (Mabuhay) – Abu Sayyaf bandits received P1 million for Wednesday’s release of an eight-year-old girl they kidnapped in July, the police in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said Saturday.
Chief Superintendent Noel delos Reyes, ARMM police chief, said the ransom money was handed to a woman who served as collector for the kidnappers.
“[The girl was] freed by her captors at Jolo wharf after her father handed over P1 million in ransom money to the designated ransom taker, an unidentified woman,” Delos Reyes said.
He said the ransom was paid an hour before the release.
This was the reason that the girl’s freedom was described in the police report as “pay-off/recovery of kidnap victim,” according to Delos Reyes.
After the money was delivered, Delos Reyes said, the kidnappers instructed the father to get the girl from a nearby mosque but “the parent disagreed with the scheme so the girl was made to walk by her captors to the premises of the Jolo wharf.”
She was finally recovered at the gates of the docking area for a shipping company around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The girl was abducted by four armed men from a store in her hometown in Olutanga, Zamboanga Sibugay on July 25, 2014.
She was eventually transferred to Sulu.
The Abu Sayyaf, a ragtag band of self-styled Islamists, said recently it was paid P250 million for the release of German hostages Stefan Viktor Okonek and Henrike Dielen. The government, however, maintained the alleged ransom payment never took place. (MNS)