TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Two Indonesian crew members of Tugboat Charles 001 are still being held hostage the Abu Sayyaf group at the southern Philippines. Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu expects both to be release this month.
“I hope [they will be released] this month,” Ryamizard said Wednesday at the Jakarta International Expo Center in Kemayoran.
Ryamizard said that the government has been acting prudently. He confirmed that efforts to free two Indonesians who have been taken hostage since 21 June continue to be done. “We want them alive,” he said.
In a bid to tackle piracy, Ryamizard said that Indonesia has initiated plans to hold joint patrols with neighboring countries: Malaysia and the Philippines.
“We have only hold patrols with the Philippines, trilateral patrols will be planned early next year,” said the former the Army chief of staff.
Indonesia had freed 9 out of 11 Indonesians abducted by Abu Sayyaf group between June, July and August, 2016.
Two crew members of Tugboat Charles 001 managed to excape during the Moro National Liberation Front’s (MNLF) assault on Abu Sayyaf stronghold. Three crew members of the same boat was released through negotiation last month.
The Indonesian government was also aided by the Philippine government to free three East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) fishermen and a South Sulawesi sailor who were abducted when working on board a Malaysian-flagged fishing boat.