Breaking News, World News and Taiwan News.

Carr welcomes hostage proof-of-life

SYDNEY -- Foreign Minister Bob Carr welcomed news Thursday that Australian man Warren Rodwell was alive after being held hostage for more than a year in the Philippines, but said his prolonged captivity was a “major concern.”

Rodwell, a 54-year-old former soldier from Sydney, was seized by suspected Muslim extremists from his home in the southern Philippine town of Ipil on Dec. 5, 2011.

In a video the SITE monitoring group said had been posted on a YouTube channel linked to Abu Sayyaf, Rodwell confirms he was captured by that militant group, which was founded in the late 1990s with seed money from al-Qaida.

Rodwell says the date is Dec. 16, 2012 and holds up a newspaper from the previous day. He says he was kidnapped 54 weeks ago.

“I'm being held prisoner, kidnapped by (the) Abu Sayyaf Muslim terrorist group for over one year — actually 53, 54 weeks today,” Rodwell says in the two-minute video.

“This video clip today is to say that I am alive, I am waiting to be released. I have no idea what's going on outside, I'm just kept held prisoner in isolation.”

Carr said the “confirmation of Mr. Rodwell's welfare is welcome” but described his prolonged captivity as a “major concern.”

“The Philippines government has the lead in response to this case and is devoting significant resources to securing Mr. Rodwell's release,” Carr said in a statement.

“The Australian government is assisting Philippines authorities where appropriate.”

Carr said government officials were also in regular contact with Rodwell's family and it would “not be helpful to Mr. Rodwell to comment further.”

The Philippines military said it was working to verify whether the video was legitimate.

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines will take measures in support to the Philippine National Police ... to fully ascertain the identity and if possible, the whereabouts of the individual if he is a kidnap victim,” said Major Emmanuel Garcia, the military's deputy chief for public affairs.

Rodwell last appeared in a video in May that was believed to be dated from the end of March.

In another video in January, reportedly sent to his Filipina wife Miraflor Gutang, Rodwell said his captors were demanding US$2 million in ransom.

Numerous armed Islamist groups operate in the southern Philippines, spawned by a bloody Muslim separatist insurgency that has raged for decades.

Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for the worst terror attacks in Philippine history and has previously kidnapped foreigners and Christians for ransom.

1 Comment
March 15, 2014    chickychowmin@
Filipina marriage scams occur when a woman lures an unsuspecting Western man into her dangerous web with promises of love and devotion. The man who is usually from the United States, United Kingdom, or Australia falls in love with the person the Filipino woman is pretending to be and marries her.

Once the deceptive woman gets what she wants out of the marriage, she discards her husband. Sometimes, the Filipina will trash the husband's reputation in the process, and if there are children involved the situation becomes even more frightening.

The one's who have gained out of this kidnapping crime are the terrorists and the local Filipino wife. Strange that she kept using her maiden name. Why didn't she sell his house and the water filling station as she claimed, (but was quickly exposed to be untrue) to raise ransom money?

After release, Miraflor (Grace) Gutang said, "When I go there (to the hospital) I want to see him, I want to taking care of him, I want him to meet me but the guards said Warren don't want to see me in person,'' she said. Mr. Rodwell was lucky to get out of this ordeal. Perhaps. He preferred to stay alive without her in the same country as him.
Write a Comment
CAPTCHA Code Image
Type in image code
Change the code
 Receive China Post promos
 Respond to this email
 Fukushima operator ups compensation estimate 
This image captured from video and obtained by AFP on Thursday, Dec. 27 courtesy of the SITE Monitoring Service shows Australian Warren Rodwell at an unknown location in the Philippines. (AFP)

Enlarge Photo
Subscribe  |   Advertise  |   RSS Feed  |   About Us  |   Career  |   Contact Us
Sitemap  |   Top Stories  |   Taiwan  |   China  |   Business  |   Asia  |   World  |   Sports  |   Life  |   Arts & Leisure  |   Health  |   Editorial  |   Commentary
Travel  |   Movies  |   TV Listings  |   Classifieds  |   Bookstore  |   Getting Around  |   Weather  |   Guide Post  |   Student Post  |   Terms of Use  |   Sitemap
  chinapost search