The military said it received the information from villagers shortly after a video posted on Facebook showed the captives appealing to their employer and the Indonesian government to heed the demand of the kidnappers.
The STAR/ File
Abus demand P30 million ransom for Indonesian captives
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - November 23, 2019 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits have reportedly demanded 2.45 million ringgit or more than P30 million in exchange for the release of three Indonesian fishermen snatched in the waters off Sabah last September.

The military said it received the information from villagers shortly after a video posted on Facebook showed the captives appealing to their employer and the Indonesian government to heed the demand of the kidnappers.

A report on a Malaysian newspaper said that prior to the posting of the video, the kidnappers contacted a family member of one of the hostages and demanded a certain amount of ransom.

Maj. Arvin John Encinas, spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command, said ground forces and intelligence units have yet to confirm reports that Abu Sayyaf bandits were behind the kidnapping.

”Maraming information (about the Abu Sayyaf) asking for a certain amount. Meron tayong mga na-receive... We are validating these reports,” Encinas said.

 Maharudin Lunani, 48; his son Muhammad Farhan, 27, and Samiun Maneu, 27, were in a Sandakan-registered fishing trawler  when they were seized off the coast of Tambisan.

The victims were reportedly brought by their captors to Sulu.

Malaysian authorities had earlier said lawless groups behind recent kidnappings of fishermen and crewmembers of foreign fishing boats off the coast of Sabah could have ties with Abu Sayyaf bandits.

Encinas said the government is keeping its no-ransom policy even as he gave assurance that ground troops are exhausting all efforts to rescue the victims.

“The operation is on to pressure the kidnappers to release their captives safely,” he said.

Aside from search and rescue operations for the Indonesian fishermen, the military is also looking for a couple snatched from a resort in Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur last month.

ABU SAYYAF
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