12 hostages in Agusan del Sur kidnap drama freed

Franklin A. Caliguid in Agusan del Sur/Philippine Daily Inquirer
Asia News Network

Agusan del Sur - All 12 remaining hostages kidnapped by a tribal group in southern Philippines have been freed when their captors abandoned them during a raid by authorities on Wednesday (April 6) dawn.

Police Senior Superintendent Fajurra, spokesperson of the crisis management team, confirmed the freedom of the hostages, five days after they were taken by tribal gunmen in the hinterland village of La Purisima in the Philippines' Agusan del Sur province.

Philippine interior secretary Jesse Robredo also confirmed the release of the hostages in a radio interview.

Alan Perez, who led the gunmen, was demanding the release of his brother Ondo, who is jailed while facing kidnapping charges for doing a similar act in 2009.

Initial reports, however, said all the gunmen escaped.