Duterte receives eight-year-old boy freed by Abu Sayyaf
President Rodrigo Duterte received on Tuesday in Malacanang an 8-year old boy, along with his parents, after he was released by the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group after almost seven months of captivity in Sulu province.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza, who accompanied Rexon Romoc, said due to sustained military operations and help of other officials and groups in Sulu, the Abu Sayyaf freed the boy on Monday, a day after the bandits beheaded a German hostage who failed to pay P30 million ransom.
Romoc, as well as his parents Elmer and Nora were kidnapped in Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay on Aug. 5, 2016. They were brought to Sulu and held by the Abu Sayyaf for almost seven months now.
Nora was released on August 22 after paying some small amount, Dureza said.
Father Elmer was later released on November 13 after paying one million pesos thinking he and his son would be released, he added.
"They sold everything, including their small sari-sari store, and borrowed from friends and relatives to raise that amount. The father was released but the captors still retained son Rexon," Dureza said.
Dureza said some 27 hostages, including foreigners, have remained in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf.
Nora thanked the government for its help in securing the release of his son. Celerina Monte/DMS