TEMPO.CO, Jakarta-PT Brahma International said the company did not pay ransom to free ten crew members held hostage by Abu Sayyaf group in the Philippines. “Not even a penny,” said the spokesman of PT Brahma, Yan Arief, at Permata building Kuningan, South Jakarta, Monday, May 2, 2016.
Yan said the company had left all negotiation process to the government. He also did not know whether or not the company’s business partner, PT Patria Maritime Lines, had paid for the ransom. “They might have communicated with the team, yes, but regarding the demand [for ransom], we don’t know for sure,” he said.
PT Brahma International is the owner of tugboat Brahma 12 and barge Anand 12, while the ten released hostages are employees of its business partner, PT Patria Maritim Lines.
The negotiation process was carried out by the government and PT Mitra Maritim Lines, Yan said. “We left the negotiation to the government and the team formed by the government,” Yan said. What he knew was that the team had cooperated with the Philippine government.
End of March, Abu Sayyaf militia group kidnapped crew members of tugboat Brahma 12 and barge Anand 12 in the southern Philippines waters.
Major General (Ret.) Kivlan Zein, one of the negotiators in the hostage release, said the release was carried out purely through negotiation. Deputi Chairman Media Group Rerie L. Moerdijat said the negotiation was done through dialogues between Sukma Foundation and local figureheads, NGOs, and humanitarian organizations in Sulu, who have direct access to Abu Sayyaf group, under direct coordination of the Indonesian government.
MAYA AYU PUSPITASARI