Malacanang on Saturday lauded the release of Australian national Richard Warren Rodwell, who was kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in December last year.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the government is concerned on Rodwell’s health, after seeing him frail and tired when he was released in Pagadian City on Saturday morning.
“Our primary concern was to ascertain that Mr. Rodwell would receive immediate medical attention,” Valte said.
“Presently, his medical condition is being assessed and as soon as the doctors give clearance, we hope that he will be reunited with his family at the soonest possible time,” she added.
Rodwell was kidnapped in his home in Zamboanga Sibugay on December 5, 2012 with the ASG allegedly asking for US$2-million in ransom.
He was freed by his captors early Saturday morning in Pagadian City.
It will be recalled that the Australian government had issued a travel advisory to its citizens earlier this month, warning security threats in Central and Western Mindanao, including Zamboanga Peninsula and Sulu Archipelago as well as in Eastern Mindanao because of terrorism threats, kidnapping, violent crime and violent clashes between armed groups.
The Philippine government had assured however, that it continues to beef up security to protect tourists in the country.