Australian hostage overwhelmed, thankful after release
More News from Agence France-Presse
Australian Warren Rodwell says he is overwhelmed, happy and thankful at finally being free after 15 months as a hostage of the Abu Sayyaf in the southern Philippines. AFP
MANILA, Philippines—Australian Warren Rodwell said Monday he was overwhelmed, happy and thankful at finally being free after 15 months as a hostage of Islamic militants in the southern Philippines.
An extremely weary and gaunt Rodwell, 54, spoke to reporters briefly at Manila airport after spending two days recuperating at a military base in the south of the country from his ordeal.
“There was a great sense of helplessness and hopelessness and I am certainly overwhelmed… I would very much like to say I am happy,” said Rodwell, who was so weak that he needed assistance to walk.
“What I would like to do is to convey my heartfelt thanks to the Philippine government and the Australian government (for helping to secure his freedom).”
Armed men posing as police abducted Rodwell, 54, from his home in a coastal town of the southern Philippines in December 2011, and demanded $2 million for his safe release.
Authorities say the Abu Sayyaf, a small group of militants based in lawless islands in the south and designated by the US government as a terrorist organization, was responsible for the kidnapping.
The militants released him on Saturday after his family paid a ransom which the chief negotiator said amounted to nearly $100,000.
Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these chat apps:
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
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