Germans freed by Abu Sayyaf arrive in Manila
MANILA, Philippines — The two Germans freed by the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu on Friday evening arrived in Manila, the military said on Saturday.
“The two German nationals arrived Manila at [Villamor Air Base] at 6:45 a.m. today,” Major General Domingo Tutaan, military spokesperson, said.
“Embassy of Germany have made arrangements for this and have taken custody over them,” he also said.
Viktor Stefan Okonek, 71, and his companion, Henrite Dielen, 55, were abducted by the Abu Sayyaf last April in Palawan while enroute to Sabah.
They were freed on Friday evening in Patikul in Sulu but it was not clear whether ransom was paid.
The Abu Sayyaf claimed they have received the ransom in full but officials were tight-lipped about it.
The militants previously warned that it would behead one of its German captives by 3 p.m. on Friday if their demands were not met.
They asked for P250 million and the withdrawal of support of Germany from the US campaign against the Islamic State.
The Abu Sayyaf claims to have established links with the IS, but the military said the local militants were only riding on the popularity of the IS.