Persons from Lanao del Norte said behind Hyrons abduction: Sobejana
Persons from Lanao del Norte appeared to have participated in the abduction of the Hyrons couple, a military official said on Tuesday.
Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Western Mindanao Command chief, said the Hyrons were able to reveal the identify of suspects from Lanao del Norte.
"They identified those who are responsible (for) their abduction. So initially there are locals from Lanao del Norte who participate on the abduction, but ultimately it is the ASG ( Abu Sayyaf Group) because their purpose was kidnap for ransom," he said.
Sobejana said authorities are preparing to file appropriate charges against persons identified by the couple.
He said the Abu Sayyaf demanded a ransom of 50 million pesos which was later reduced to 10 million pesos.
Sobejana assured no ransom was paid for the release of the Hyrons as it is against government policy.
"Initially 50 million, then it was reduced to 10 million, but there was no ransom at all because that is clear even with the British government that the policy of our president is no ransom. That is why we sustained our relentless search and rescue operations," he said.
Sobejana said the Hyron were turned over to officials of the British Embassy att the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Monday night.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Department of National Defense (DND) spokesman Arsenio Andolong said the department "commends the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the successful rescue of Allan and Wilma Hyrons from the hands of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group."
"The rescue of the Hyrons is a result of our forces' relentless operations
against the ASG, and a testament to the bravery and dedication of our troops on the ground," Andolong said.
"We congratulate the 2nd Special Forces Battalion which directly took part in the operations, and the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command led by Lt. Gen Cirilito Sobejana," he added. Robina Asido/DMS