Sipadan hostage negotiator condoles with Robredo family
MANILA, Philippines – A Malaysian businessman, who had previously helped in negotiations for foreign and local hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf in 2000, extended his condolences to the family of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
Yusuf Hamdan called INQUIRER.net Thursday night saying that he wanted to give his condolence to the family of Robredo. He said that Robredo gave him a safe conduct pass and escorts as he worked to free hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf.
Hamdan, along with a former Malaysian senator, had helped in the negotiations to release hostages taken by the bandit group from Sipadan island resort in Sabah, Malaysia back in 2000.
The Abu Sayyaf group had specifically demanded for Hamdan and former Senator Sairin Karno as negotiators.
Hamdan told Inquirer.net that he knew Robredo through the then mayor of Tawi-Tawi, who was also working for the release of the hostages.
Most hostages were freed after non-government organisations from Libya, Malaysia and Europe, through Hamdan and Karno, allegedly paid an estimated $20 million in ransom.