Save 20% off! Join our newsletter and get 20% off right away!
Australian captive of the Abu Sayaff released

Warren Rodwell’s Road to Freedom from Abu Sayyaf


Australian captive of the Abu Sayyaf released

Australian Warren Richard Rodwell was released by the infamous Abu Sayyaf bandits from Southern Philippines after 15 months of captivity.


Rodwell, a former Australian soldier who settled down in Mindanao with his Filipino wife, was kidnapped in December 2011 from his seashore house in Ipil town, west of Pagadian.


The abductors wearing police uniforms took him to their hideout and demanded seven million pesos in ransom for his release.

Rodwell’s Filipina wife Miraflor Gutang sought the help of Basilan Vice Governor Al Rasheed Sakalahul, who acted as the negotiator to the Abu Sayyaf.

Through Sakalahul, the Abu Sayyaf agreed to reduce Rodwell’s ransom to four million pesos.

Earlier news indicated the Philippine government’s involvement on the payment of ransom, but the government insistently denied this report because of its anti-ransom policy.


Gutang then revealed that she, and Rodwell’s family were the ones who raised the four million pesos by selling their properties.

Numerous threats of the Muslim terrorists to kill the Australian captive were made public if they haven’t received the ransom, with a You Tube video showing a living Rodwell amidst the threats.


At 1:10am, Saturday, in Zamboanga Del Sur, more than a year after, Rodwell got his freedom back, but lost a lot of weight.


In a press conference, Rodwell and his family expressed gratitude to the Philippine government and the police for their efforts in securing their brother’s release; they also called on the authorities to bring justice over the incident.

Rodwell, with his family is expected to go back home to Australia within weeks.

Meanwhile, recent reports told of the alleged partaking of vice governor Sakalahul on the four million ransom paid to the Abu Sayyaf.


But the vice governor denied allegations of benefitting from the ransom and said he is open for any investigation relating to the accusations.


Sakalahul has been instrumental in at least ten successful negotiations in Basilan since 1995.


Corabelle is the Bayanihan's Phillippine News Correspondent.