Warren Rodwell’s wife Miraflor Gutang denies being involved in kidnapping
- by: Kristin Shorten
- From: news.com.au
- June 16, 2013 12:01AM
THE Filipino wife of freed Australian hostage Warren Rodwell says she was not involved in her husband’s kidnapping.
Miraflor Gutang, who married the former Australian soldier in her hometown of Ipil in June 2011, has broken her silence to clear her name. “All the investigation is clear because I’m so innocent. I’m not guilty, never. I could not do that to anyone,” she told news.com.au. “I’m the one to help how to get (Rodwell freed) from the kidnappers. I’m the one to (negotiate) how to make the ransom lower. “I’m the one to suffer when he’s still in kidnap.”
In her first interview since Mr Rodwell’s release, the 28-year-old recounted her own ordeal with the kidnappers. “The kidnappers ring to me. They always angry and say `blood blood’. The kidnappers said a lot about the negotiation. They cannot finish talking about money. They said $US20 million. They said `I want to kill someone of your family’. Of course I’m very scared,” she said. “I said `I need a proof of life he’s still alive’. I wanted to know from the kidnappers if my husband is still with them, if he’s still alive, so I could believe.”
Ms Gutang said she spoke to her husband three times throughout his captivity. “We talk by phone call and very short. We cannot talk longer. “He said he’s still alive and (feels) hopeless, there’s no one to help him. I’m the one to talk to him about that. He’s a very brave person. I’m the one to cry (when we spoke). “After that (the kidnappers said) `Warren very sick’ and they want to release him.” The mystery surrounding the adventurer’s abduction then deepened when he refused to see his wife. “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.
At the time of his kidnapping, Mr Rodwell was building the couple’s new seaside home in Ipil on the Zamboanga Peninsula. Mr Rodwell said he had separated from Ms Gutang, who was living with her parents, two weeks earlier. But Ms Gutang, who has an eight-year-old son from a previous relationship, disputes this. “Maybe he blamed me for what happened to him because we were living here in the Philippines because last time he wanted to bring me to Australia I don’t like because I don’t want to be far from my family,” she said. “I don’t know why he don’t want to see me. Maybe because sometimes we’d argue before his kidnap.”
In March, Basilan Vice-Governor Al-Rasheed Sakkalahul told News Limited that Ms Gutang had played a key role in orchestrating her husband’s release. “I was very happy when he was released that he was still alive, of course. I wanted to hug him when he was released,” she said. “Warren is very selfish. I don’t know why he’s angry with me. I miss him but what to do?” Mr Rodwell called his estranged wife last weekend to tell her he had filed for a divorce. “I’m so surprised because when he called me he was already in Australia and after that (he said) maybe we’re not lucky in married life. “It’s very terrible so he told me he wanted to make it a divorce so I agreed because I have no choice,” she said.
“He said after I sign the divorce paper he has no more commitment. He said the property he give it to me. He said he didn’t have money to give me. He said `that’s it, no more talk’. “I’m so sad because I wanted to stay with him. Of course I love him still in my heart but our behaviour is not compatible.” Ms Gutang, the second eldest of eight children, said she was now seeking work to support her family. “Warren wants to divorce me so I want to continue on my own making a future for my son and I have to think of my mum. Nobody help them only me,” she said. “I was only studying for six months. I never continued because of what happened to Warren. Now I have a plan to find a job.”