THE two policewomen who were abducted last month in Sulu have been freed, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde announced on Wednesday.
Albayalde said Police Officer (PO) 2 Benierose Alvarez and PO1 Dinah Gumahad are now in the custody of Sulu Governor Abdusakur Mahail Tan’s men and are on their way to his residence.
“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.
He said the information indicated that local officials of Jolo were negotiating 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.
When asked about the condition of the two policewomen, he said, “As of this time, nung huli kasi natin nakausap, okay na sila pero hindi pa natin sila nakita. (The last time we talked to them they were okay, but we have not seen them yet.) They have to undergo medical treatment and debriefing.”
Alvarez and Gumahad, along with two male companions identified as Jacksalem Blas 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 Mujir Yada.
Ahidji was released on May 7 while Blas was freed a few days later.
The kidnappers earlier demanded P5 million for the release of the victims, although it was not clear if it was given.