Manila, Jan 14 (IANS) The Abu Sayyaf terror group has released a South Korean captain and Filipino crewman who had been held hostage since an assault on their cargo ship last October on the island of Jolo.
South Korean national Park Chul-hong, 38, and Filipino Glenn Alindajao, 31, "have departed to their homes with their families after two and a half months of captivity," the spokeswoman of the Philippine Presidential Office in Manila, Patmei Ruivivar, told Efe news.
Park was the captain and Alindajao was a member of the crew on the South Korean flag carrier Dong Bang Giant 2, which was the biggest ship to be attacked by the group, who more frequently target smaller fishing boats.
Philippines chief negotiator and advisor to the Presidency for the Peace Process, Jesus Dureza, presented the hostages in a televised press conference in Jolo, where they landed by plane after being released earlier in the day.
Dureza said no ransom was paid for their release, but other sources told local media that 25 million pesos ($502,000) was paid to the kidnappers.
The Dong Bang Giant 2 was boarded on October 21 by 10 Abu Sayyaf assailants near the southern mouth of the Sibutu passage, a 30 km-wide sea channel between the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea commonly used by cargo ships.
The terrorists currently hold 21 other hostages: four Filipinos, seven Malaysians, six Vietnamese, two Indonesians, one German and one Dutch, according to the authorities.