Thirteen hostages are safe and well after being released in the southern Philippines where they had been held since April 1st. They were found by security forces after tribal gunmen who had snatched them abandoned them.
Police were scouring the area for the kidnappers who were demanding the release from prison of their comrades and a tribal leader involved in a land dispute.
“All of the 13 hostages have been recovered and are already safe with us. Our troops found the hostages abandoned by their captors at Sitio Balete, Barangay La Purisma, Prosperidad, Agusan Del Sur,” explained Mayor Albin Magdamit
The hostages were captured by the armed group after attending a graduation ceremony in the town of La Prosperidad.
Earlier two of those held were let go while the tribal imprisoned leader was temporarily released to speed up negotiations.
The hostages said the gunmen treated them well during captivity while it was stressed the government did not give into any of the gangs demands and added the kidnappers would be held accountable.