After the release of three Indonesian fishermen on Sunday, September 18, a fourth Indonesian hostage was freed by the militant group Abu Sayyaf on Thursday, September 22.
Harman Manggak, who was one of the 14 Indonesians taken captive by the militant group Abu Sayyaf, was handed over to Berlian Napitupulu, the Indonesian consul general in Davao at 5 pm local time on Thursday. The exchange was held at the WestMinCom headquarters in Zamboanga, according to Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, director for the protection of Indonesian nationals abroad from the Indonesian Foreign Ministry.
Iqbal reported that the Davao-based Indonesian Consulate General will be handling the freed Indonesian and will ensure that he undergoes appropriate therapy from the trauma he may have suffered from being taken hostage. “He will be returning to Indonesia together with the three previously released hostages,” Iqbal added.
An Indonesian fisherman from Bulukumba in the southern peninsula of Sulawesi, Harman was the designated captain onboard a Malaysian-flagged fishing boat that was attacked by Abu Sayyaf members in the Sabah waters of Malaysia on August 3.
Harman’s release came after three other Indonesian crewmen from a different Malaysian-flagged boat were freed by the militants on Sunday, September 18. Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu made mention on Sunday that another hostage would be released soon but did not make any further comments.
Five Indonesian fishermen remain in captivity by Abu Sayyaf, the militant group in the Philippines notoriously known for extorting ransom in exchange for the lives of their captives. Crewmen aboard the Indonesian-operated tugboat Charles, the remaining captives are the longest-held hostages in the most recent string of abductions by the militant group, having been in captivity since June 21.
No report has so far been made on whether any ransom was paid for the release of the Indonesian captives.