ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 14, 2010) – Two students kidnapped in the southern Philippines had been freed after private negotiators reportedly paid ransoms.
Police and military reports have confirmed the release of Shiela May Vidal, 18, and Alcger Baricuatro, 19, who were kidnapped December 7 inside the compound of the Mindanao State University in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur province.
The duo was released in the town of Piagapo where security forces had been deployed to rescue the victims. No details were immediately made available by the authorities surrounding the release of the hostages.
Brigadier General Rey Ardo, commander of the Army's 103rd Infantry Brigade in-charged of the rescue mission, did not answer nor return phone calls made by journalists.
Kidnappers have originally demanded P1 million ransoms for the safe release of two hostages and eventually lowered this to P200,000. Other reports said the ransoms were paid by unidentified negotiators in exchange for the duo’s freedom.
The military previously said troops had located the place where the kidnappers were holding the hostages and that the leaders of the gang had been identified as Salik Muslimen and Machol Sabtulah. (Mindanao Examiner)