MANILA Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde on Wednesday confirmed that the two policewomen who were abducted last month in Sulu have been freed.
Earlier this noon, ang sabi ng RD (Regional Director,) they were released to people close to Governor Sakur Tan and on their way now (to) Governor's residence, Albayalde said in a TV interview.
However, Sulu Police director, Senior Supt. Pablo Labra II, said the two, Police Officer (PO) 2 Benierose Alvarez and PO1 Dinah Gumahad, who are assigned to Police Regional Office 9 (Zamboanga), have already reunited with their respective families.
Labra said Alvarez and Gumahad were separately released somewhere in Talipao town on Tuesday Alvarez at about 10:15 a.m. and Gumahad at about 6:45 p.m.
Albayalde said information indicated that local officials of Jolo negotiated for the unconditional release of the two cops.
"Siguro yung negotiation, tulong na rin ng governor natin doon at hindi natin alam kung ano talaga paved the way for the release nung two hostage na yun. But of course, malaki tulong ng negotiations at tulong ng LGU doon sa Jolo, Sulu (The negotiation was done with the help of the governor. We don't know what paved the way for the release of the two hostages. But of course, the negotiation and the local government unit of Jolo, Sulu were a big help), he added.
Albayalde said the two have to undergo medical treatment and debriefing.
Alvarez and Gumahad, along with two male companions identified as Blas Jackosalim Ahamad and Faizal Ahidji, were kidnapped in Patikul, Sulu last April 29 by 11 armed men believed to be members of an Abu Sayyaf splinter group led by a certain Almujer Yadah.
Ahidji was released on May 5 while Ahamad was rescued a few days later.
The kidnappers earlier demanded PHP5 million for the release of the victims, although it was not clear if it was given. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency