PNP, AFP disavow knowledge of P4M ransom in Aussie kidnap


PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr. INQUIRER.NET FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) distanced themselves, on Sunday, from the reported negotiations and payment of a P4-million ransom for the freedom of Australian Warren Richard Rodwell, who was released by his Abu Sayyaf captors on Saturday.

Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr., PNP spokesperson, said the official report of the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) did not indicate if ransom was given by the victim’s family to the Abu Sayyaf bandits who abducted Rodwell in Ipil town, Zamboanga del Sur province in 2011.

“In the official report (of the AKG), there was no mention of the ransom. It did not categorically say if there was ransom paid,” Cerbo told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a phone interview.

“We are not privy (to the reported negotiations). The government has a no-ransom policy. We don’t know where that supposed report of negotiations and payment of ransom came from,” he added.

If the family had indeed paid ransom, Cerbo said their actions were made “on the private capacity of Rodwell’s family members.”

The Philippine Daily Inquirer repeatedly tried to contact Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, but he did not answer calls and text messages on his mobile phone.

Basilan Vice Gov. Al Rasheed Sakalahul said he himself saw the ransom money that Roger Gutang, brother of Rodwell’s Filipino wife, Miraflor Rodwell, handed to Abu Sayyaf leader Puruji Indama.

Sakalahul said Indama counted the money in front of him, which amounted to P4 million.

He maintained that he only acted as “guide” during the negotiations for Rodwell’s release.

Colonel Arnulfo Burgos Jr., AFP spokesperson, also said the military did not know about the ransom payment, noting the government’s no-ransom policy.

“I cannot comment on that… We have no knowledge (on the payment of ransom). We will distance ourselves from that because (our personnel are) on the ground,” Burgos said in a separate phone interview.

“I think Malacañang, through Undersecretary (Abigail) Valte, could best answer (Sakalahul’s) statements,” he said, referring to the deputy presidential spokesperson.

“We’re not privy to the reported negotiations. The AFP has no information on that.”

But Col. Rodrigo Gregorio, spokesperson for the military’s Western Mindanao Command, said Rodwell’s release was “made possible through the collective effort of (his) family, the Australian embassy, the local governments, military, police and other governmental agencies.”

Citing the report of Senior Supt. Renato Gumban, AKG director, Cerbo said that as of Sunday, Rodwell’s kidnapping was still “under investigation.” He said Gumban’s unit would conduct the debriefing of the freed Australian upon his discharge from the hospital.

Asked if the AKG’s probe would include the supposed ransom payment and the alleged role of “local officials and middlemen” who reportedly received a portion of the ransom, he said: “I cannot say if that would be included in the investigation.”

“We are still waiting for the full report. Our goal is to identify the kidnappers and file cases against them,” Cerbo said.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Flipzi

    AFP/PNP = inutil

    Ang tagal tagal na yang ASG di niyo pa rin matapos. Dapat talaga ipasa sa 3 star general ang Task Force at sibakin kapag di natapos ang goal in 1 month. Ganun dapat.

  • Flipzi

    Ayaw ko sabihing mga BOBO at TANGA ang mga generals na may responsibility dito kasi alam ko na matalino naman kayo. Million pesos na ang ginastos ng gobyerno para pag-aralin at sanayin kayo. Kaya gawin niyo naman ang dapat na tungkulin niyo sa bayan. Mahiya naman kayo, mga Sirs at Madames. ASG lang yan bakit di niyo matapos?

    • Flipzi

      Kayo mga nasa AFP/PNP ilagay niyo sa isip niyo na ang nasa isip ng tao ay ganito,.. MAHIRAP KALABANIN ANG KALABAN … KUNG KASAMA KA SA KANILA.

  • Flipzi


  • lukecowboy

    di natin alam kung may alam ang kapolisan dyan at kung magkano ang porsento nila corruption naman have fun in the philippines.

  • jclarendo

    Why cann’t the military and police apprehend the bandits.this people not longer lives in the jungle or mountains like the NPA they no longer live in cordillera mountain and arrayat but they live in the city the muslim rebels they already live in the city but why cann’t the military and police get this rebels and bandits why, why and why. Our military is good only in parade and review well dressed at plantsadong plantsado ang uniform pero wala sa actual na guerra pag labanan na parang mga asong duwag ang mga buhok sa likod ay nakatayo at ang mga buntot nakatago sa ilalim ng tiyan according to survey RPI military is the weakiest in Asia magaling lang sa purmahan at bihis.

  • Jack Bw

    Come to think of it, 4M is a lot cheaper than the AFP’s modernization fund of 75 billion for the next 5 years. What if we just give the Abus their ransom budget in advance for 5 years so they’ll leave the civilians alone? Then we can keep the 74.98 billion.

    (Just kidding, AFP. Maybe next time you’ll get us better results than that).

    I pay my taxes by the way. I makes my stomach grumble that we’re about to spend 75 billion on you while we keep seeing the Abu Sayaff on the news.

  • spelster

    they should indeed distance themselves coz for 15 months, they have done nothing to resolve this thing. they’re only good on rubouts, er… shootout i mean.. talk about incompetence..

  • disqusted0fu

    Of course! What else should we expect?? The AFP and the PNP also tried to deny the Atimonan rub-out remember?? And apparently DILG and the Palace are also trying to distance themselves from this issue. All they need to do is either keep on delaying until everyone forgets it or come up with another diversion as they always do.

  • Anqui

    The remake of the Burham kidnapping…who made the killing on the money paid for their release?

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


editors' picks




latest videos