ZAMBOANGA CITY—Kidnapped Australian national Richard Warren Rodwell remained in captivity as of 10:30 p.m. Thursday, the military claimed.
This was contrary to earlier claims made by Col. Gregorio Rodrigo, spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command, who said Rodwell was on his way to the Don Basilio Navarro Hospital after he was released by his abductors.
Rodrigo had told journalists to cover the arrival of Rodwell at the hospital.
Refusing to give details of the release, Rodrigo only said, “Journalists must be at the Wesmincom at 6 p.m.”
At around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, however, Rodrigo said “negotiation is still ongoing on the ground.”
“We are hopeful that anytime soon, Rodwell will be freed. This is due to a new development taking place,” he said.
Rodwell was abducted by armed men from his home in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, last Dec. 5, 2012.
Earlier, Basilan Vice Gov. Al Rasheed Sakalahul told the Inquirer of the possible release of Rodwell Thursday.
Sakalahul had been requested by the victim’s family to negotiate for the release of Rodwell.—Julie S. Alipala