Agusan hostages freed

PROSPERIDAD,  Agusan del Sur (MindaNews/06 April) – The last 12 hostages seized Friday afternoon in a hinterland village here, have been freed after 110 hours in captivity.

Local Governments Secretary Jessie Robredo, who arrived here Tuesday noon, said the hostages were abandoned by the gunmen at around 6 a.m.

The hostages, most of them teachers, arrived at the mayor’s house at 9 a.m. and were met by Mayor Alvin Magdamit, head of the Crisis Management Committee and Robredo.

The hostages were fetched in the forested area some three kilometers from Barangay La Purisima, by Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Josephine Bajade, Father Lito Clase and  lawyer Marilyn Pintor, regional director for Caraga of the Commission on Human Rights.

Two teachers on Saturday afternoon were sent down on a motorcycle to fetch food and medicines, on strict instructions to return or the rest of the hostages would be killed. The Crisis Management Committee, however, barred them from returning, following negotiations with the abductors. The negotiators also asked for the release of a minor who was stricken with fever. The boy was freed Monday.  (Alexis Cabardo/DXSF for MindaNews)