Minister of Foreign Affairs: No Ransom Paid in the Release of 4 Indonesian Hostages
Date 12 Mei 2016
Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs dismissed the allegation that it paid 50 million Peso ransom for the release of four Indonesian crew members of Henry Tug Boat on Wednesday (11/5) from a captivity by a militant group in the Philippines.
I want to reiterate something that has been mentioned by Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi that the Indonesian Government has never a policy to pay ransom to the perpetrators in the release of 10 Indonesian hostages and four Indonesian hostages as well, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Arrmanatha Nasir said on Thursday (15/5), in Jakarta.
The four Indonesian hostages released were Moch Aryani (master) from East Bekasi, West Java, Loren Marinus Petrus Rumawi (chief officer) from Sorong, West Papua, Dede Irfan Hilmi (second officer) from Ciamis, West Java, and Samsir (crew) from Palopo, South Sulawesi.
The announcement of the release of four Indonesian hostages was delivered by President Joko Jokowi Widodo in a press conference at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, on Wednesday (11/5) afternoon. Finally, four Indonesian ship crew members who have been taken hostage since 15 March 2016 have been released. They are now in good condition, President Jokowi said.
During the announcement, President Jokowi was accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi and Commander of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo.
According to President Jokowi, the operation is one of the results of the trilateral meeting between Indonesian Foreign Minister and Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) Commander, Malaysian Foreign Minister and Malaysian Commander as well as with the Philippine Foreign Minister and the Philippine Commander, in Yogyakarta, on 5 May 2016.
Regarding the process in releasing four Indonesian hostages, Arrmanatha declined to explain it in detail for safety reason of those who have taken parts in the efforts to release the hostages.
However, Arrmanatha explained that the process in releasing four Indonesian hostages did not only involve the Government, but also non-governmental elements or the civilian.
Since the beginning, the Government has been focused on ensuring the safety of Indonesian ship crew members. The President and Minister of Foreign Affairs have previously said that this is a result of cooperation between several elements of the Indonesian and the Philippines, as well as involving non-governmental elements, Arrmanatha firmly said.
Arrmanatha went on to say that the four hostages are currently being prepared for repatriation to Indonesia and they are scheduled to be handed over to the Indonesian Government this afternoon.
They will be handed over to Indonesian warship stationed near the Indonesian-the Philippines border. Hopefully they could arrive in Jakarta either this afternoon or tomorrow morning, Arrmanatha said.
The four ship crew members were taken hostages by a Philippine militant group off the waters of Zamboanga in the Malaysian territory on 15 April 2016 and were held as captives in Sulu, the Philippines.
Besides the four Indonesian crews, six other Indonesian nationals were also aboard the tugboat. Although one crewman was shot, they were rescued by a Malaysian patrol boat and were taken to Tawau, Sabah, in Malaysia . (Dit Infomed Kemlu/ES)(RAS/EP/YM/Naster)