Basilan vice governor’s help sought for release of 2 European hostages
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - March 31, 2013 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Swiss and Holland officials have reportedly sought the assistance of Basilan Vice Gov. Al-Rasheed Sakahalul for the possible release of two European hostages in Sulu after Abu Sayyaf bandits freed Australian Warren Rodwell last week.

During Rodwell’s send off to Manila, Sakahalul said three European officials, whom he failed to identify, approached him and asked if he could negotiate with the kidnappers for the possible release of two foreign bird watchers kidnapped in Tawi-Tawi last year.

Swiss Lorenzo Vinceguerre, 47, and Dutch Elwold Horn, 52, were bird watching in Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi in February 2012 when they were kidnapped along with Filipino Ivan Sarenas, who managed to escape.

The victims were allegedly held hostage by Abu Sayyaf militants in the nearby island province of Sulu. 

“We had a meeting. They were asking for my assistance. It seemed they were envious that Rodwell has been freed,” Sakahalul said.

The Basilan vice governor did not promise to help the European officials, saying the kidnapping happened outside his jurisdiction.  

But he said he is willing to help if there is a clearance from the government for him to work on the negotiation for the release of Horn and Vinceguerre.

“It really feels good to help without expecting anything in return, but so sad and painful to be accused of skimming,” he added.

Sakalahul had been instrumental in at least 10 successful hostage negotiations in Basilan since 1995.

 

ABU SAYYAF AL-RASHEED SAKAHALUL AUSTRALIAN WARREN RODWELL BASILAN BASILAN VICE GOV DURING RODWELL DUTCH ELWOLD HORN FILIPINO IVAN SARENAS HORN AND VINCEGUERRE PANGLIMA SUGALA SAKAHALUL
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