Quantcast
Latest Stories

P4 million paid for Rodwell’s release, Basilan vice governor says

By

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—How much did the freedom of Australian national Richard Warren Rodwell cost?

For BasilanVice Governor Al Rasheed Sakalahul, it was only P4 Million, not P7 Million as reported.

Sakalahul said he knew the exact amount because Abu Sayyaf leader Pujuri Indama counted the money in front of him and Roger Gutang, brother of Rodwell’s wife Miraflor.

“Throughout the negotiations, I only served as guide. I am willing to be subjected to a lie detector test,” the vice governor said following reports that Rodwell’s release was delayed because “local officials and middlemen” had took part of the ransom before it reached the Abu Sayyaf Group.

“If this is what the reports are saying, I challenge the Australian Embassy, Flor, Roger and Rodwell to an open media briefing so the truth would come out,” he said.

Sakalahul said Roger served as the bagman who handed the money to Indama.

Rodwell was released by his captors in Pagadian City early Saturday.

Rodwell, who arrived here at around 6 a.m. Saturday, looked thin and tired as he emerged from the US Green Bell helicopter that fetched him from Pagadian City.

“It was an embassy to embassy agreement and we cannot not do anything about,” Colonel Rodrigo Gregorio, spokesman of Western Mindanao Command, said, referring to the arrangements for Rodwell’s airlift from Pagadian  made by the Australian and US embassies.

Gregorio said Rodwell was fetched by military and police in the vicinity of the Pagadian City port at around 1:30 a.m. Saturday. He was kidnapped by armed men believed to be Abu Sayyaf bandits from his house in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, on Dec. 4, 2011.

“His release was made possible through the collective efforts of Rodwell’s family, the Australian Embassy, the local government units, military, police and other government agencies,” Gregorio said.

Rodwell, who arrived here at around 6 a.m. Saturday, looked thin and tired as he emerged from a US Green Bell helicopter that fetched him from Pagadian City. Reporters were not allowed to approached Rodwell and he was whisked by US soldiers to a Philippine military hospital for a checkup.

Wearing a Philippine Army coat, rolled up brown pants and green slippers, Rodwell limped his way down the helicopter assisted by two American soldiers, members of the Joint Special Operation Task Force.

American soldiers cordoned off the helipad, preventing journalists from getting near Rodwell.

Chief Inspector Ariel Huesca, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Regional Police Office, said the Abu Sayayf released Rodwell at the Pagadian Fisheries Building at 1:10 a.m.

Rodwell, walking alone in the port area, was seen by a civilian named Nathaniel Tampos, Huesca said.

Sakalahul said Rodwell’s wife, Miraflor, “worked hard” for the release of her husband.

“It was the wife Flor who worked hard. She called me asking help to determine if indeed her husband was till alive,” Sakalahul said.

He said initially that he did not know if any ransom was paid for Rodwell’s release.

“My role was to determine if Rodwell was alive through a proof of life,” Sakalahul said.

And the proof of life was to ask Rodwell about something only he and his parents know – “Where did Rodwell live when he was 12 years old?”

Sakalahul said he received that proof of life through a phone call, with Rodwell himself answering “Gill Goulburn and West Tamworth.”

The vice governor said he “realized that Rodwell was not kept in Basilan all throughout his captivity” when he was told that the abductors planned to release him in Zamboanga del Sur.

On Friday night, Sakalahul said, Indama called him to say that they had left Rodwell near the Pagadian City Fisheries Building.

“I called up the military and police to notify them about Rodwell being in Pagadian City port, and the rest is history,” Sakalahul said.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Abu Sayyaf , Australia , Kidnapping , Police , Ransom , Richard Rodwell , Richard Warren Rodwell

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

    vice governor mag kano naman po napunta sa inyo at kay general afp



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  • If filed, plane lawsuits might not get heard in US
  • [VIDEO] Royal couple’s final day
  • Aquino urges public to help prevent brownouts, keep aircon usage low
  • 292 missing, 3 dead in South Korea ferry disaster
  • Sports

  • Pistorius trial: Judge sets 2-week adjournment
  • China, Taiwan rout foes for 3rd, 5th places in Asian Club volleyball
  • Ginebra’s new import Freeman arrives, makes PBA return vs ROS
  • Fielder ends HR drought, Rangers beat Mariners 5-0
  • Power Pinoys salvage 7th place in Asian men’s volley club championship
  • Lifestyle

  • Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Entertainment

  • Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao’s greatest hits
  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • 2NE1 returns to Manila with “All Or Nothing” Tour
  • Business

  • PSEi firms up ahead of Lenten break
  • I-Remit teams up with Lakhoo for remittances from Oman
  • Megawide nets P1.4 B in 2013
  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Make a stylish statement with the all-new Yaris
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • Visa-free travel to Japan could boost tourism
  • 2 PCG men ordered arrested over Balintang Channel shooting
  • US Embassy closed on Holy Thursday, Good Friday
  • Relief worker draws inspiration from helping Yolanda victims
  • Philippines says peace pact should hold despite clashes
  • Marketplace