According to http://www.philstar.com, Abu Sayyaf gunmen freed unharmed its captive Sulu provincial chief mechanic Wednesday night (August 27) in a village in Patikul, Sulu following negotiations and alleged payment of a ransom, police said.
The kidnap victim, Ronald Pelegrin, 36, held for almost two weeks, was released and abandoned by his captors on the outskirts of Barangay Danag.
The Abu Sayyaf also seized Pelegrin and his younger cousin, Renante Avilla, on August 15 from their living quarters before their horrified wives.
Avilla was shot and killed after he fought and refused to be taken hostage.
COMMENT: Message-point #1: If you are ever kidnapped at gunpoint, regardless of the motive, DON'T RESIST!
During his release, Pelegrin said he boarded a passenger jeepney and asked the driver to bring him to the Sulu provincial engineering office in the downtown Jolo where he met his executive engineer Munir Bahi.
Bahi immediately informed the police anti-kidnapping group of the release of Pelegrin who immediately assisted the victim in transporting him back to this city aboard a passenger ferry which arrived from Jolo at approximately 0500 hours on Thursday (August 28).
Pelegrin said he was treated well and asked to convert to Islam during his captivity and was not aware if negotiations were underway during his captivity.
“They just escorted me out from the mountain and left me on the village and said I am free,” Pelegrin said.
Pelegrin said he will never return to Sulu.
Philippine police and military could not confirm or deny if ransom was paid for Pelegrin's release.
The above being said, a source who was familiar with ransom negotiations, disclosed that a huge amount of money was paid and two automatic rifles were given to the kidnappers in exchange for Pelegrin's release.
The victim’s family earlier disclosed the abductors had called up and made the P15-million ransom demand which they described as impossible for the family to raise.
The source added that the abduction of Pelegrin was a result of the failure of the provincial engineer’s office to pay protection money demanded by the Abu Sayyaf group.
The official added that the same reason also led the kidnapping last June of Sulu construction foreman Remegio Lingayan and his brother-in-law Joselito Gonzales, who was allegedly killed during the military operation.
Lingayan was freed July 27 after an alleged payment of ransom which authorities denied citing the government's no ransom policy.