Gunmen finally free 12 hostages after 5-day ordeal in Agusan Sur, Philippines
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Gunmen finally free 12 hostages after 5-day ordeal in Agusan Sur, Philippines

San Martin : Philippines | Apr 05, 2011 at 7:49 PM PDT
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Members of the Ondo Perez armed tribesmen

The hostage crisis in Agusan del Sur province in Mindanao finally came to an end this Wednesday morning as police said the hostage-takers "abandoned" their captives.

Agusan del Sur police chief Senior Superintendent Jerome Baxinella led a police team in fetching the hostages and bringing them to safety."They weree abandoned and we had to rescue them," Baxinella said.

The 12 hostages, a group of teachers and a student, endured a four-day ordeal in a remote jungle area.

"As of 6:00 am (2200 GMT Tuesday) I was informed by the police that the hostages are on their way down from the mountain. It appears that all of them were unharmed," Interior Minister Jesse Robredo said in a nationwide radio broadcast.

It was on Friday, April 1st that the group of tribal gunmen abducted 15 people in the town of Prosperidad in Agusan del Sur. The armed men demanded the release of a former militiaman, Ondo Perez, in exchange for the hostages' release.

On Sunday, two hostages were freed to get food for the other victims. A third victim, a male teenager, was released Monday, and finally on Wednesday the rest of the hostages were "abandoned."

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Ondo Perez and his brother Dot
Ondo Perez (C) and his brother Dot (L), leaders of the armed tribesmen who abducted 71 people earlier, gesture inside a car after their surrender in San Martin, Prosperidad town in Agusan del Sur province, Philippines on December 13, 2009. Tribal gunmen demanded for their release in the recent hostage-taking. The ordeal ended on April 6, 2011 after the 12 remaining hostages were "abandoned."
stevie_jarz is based in Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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