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[AAP] AUSTRALIA – Philippine Cop Nabbed For 2011 Kidnapping Of Aussie Man
Incident Type: Kidnappings For Ransom – Arrests And Court Cases
Date/Time (UTC): 2015-05-18 21:05:00
Infrastructure Affected: Unknown
Permanent link to this event: http://www.globalincidentmap.com/beta/kidnapping-for-ransom/event/429399
“A Philippine policeman who is a cousin of one of the nation’s top Islamic militants has been arrested over the kidnapping-for-ransom of Australian Warren Rodwell. Jun Malban went on the run after he was charged with kidnapping Rodwell from his home in a southern Philippine coastal town in December 2011.”
- MAY 19, 2015 12:30AM
A FILIPINO policeman has been arrested over the kidnapping-for-ransom of Australian Warren Rodwell.
Jun Malban went on the run after he was charged with kidnapping Rodwell from his home in a southern Philippine coastal town in December 2011. He was detained in Malaysia early this month and deported back to the Philippines on Friday last week, national police anti-kidnapping unit head Senior Superintendent Roberto Fajardo told reporters.
The abductors posed as policemen when they seized Mr Rodwell and demanded US$2 million ($2.5 million) for his release. Mr Rodwell was released 15 months later in return for a ransom that a local politician says was worth about US$100,000, although such a payment has never been officially acknowledged by the Philippine or Australian governments. Spt Fajardo said Malban was believed to have been working with Rodwell’s kidnappers and brokered a ransom.
“Rodwell identified Malban as the negotiator of the Abu Sayyaf during his captivity,” he said.
Malban, who had worked for a southern Philippine police unit that provides bodyguards to civilians under threat, is a cousin of Abu Sayyaf leader Khair Mundos, he said. Mundos, who had a US$500,000 United States government reward on his head, was arrested in a rundown Muslim quarter near Manila airport in June last year. The US government described him as a “key leader and financier” of the Abu Sayyaf.
Mr Rodwell — a former ADF soldier and self-professed “world nomad” — looked online and abroad for love, a search that led him in to petite Filipina Miraflor Gutang, 25 years his junior. After a whirlwind romance, Mr Rodwell packed up his things and travelled to Mindanao in June 2011, one of the most dangerous places in the world for westerners. Only six months into the marriage, Mr Rodwell was relaxing at his new home near the seaside town of Ipil when he was ambushed by armed terrorists dressed as police officers and taken hostage.
“We had to walk two or three kilometres through rice fields. They were behind me trying to hit me with the butt of the rifle and kick me to move me. The guy said ‘run and we will kill you’. I was in front and by the time we eventually got to a river and into a boat, I realised I was being kidnapped.” The gunmen wore military uniforms and their M16 rifles were plastered with police insignia.
The former Australian soldier knew to stay calm and do as he was told when they forced him into a stolen community boat. Filipino police identified the al-Qaeda linked group Abu Sayyaf as being involved in Rodwell’s kidnapping. During his ordeal, Mr Rodwell’s captors moved him from island to island to elude pursuit. He was not shackled or caged but was always closely watched by the gunmen. For 15 months, Rodwell fought to stay sane amid the constant threat of being shot or beheaded. He was moved between 30 different locations within the Basilan Islands as his captors tried to evade the military and other militant groups.
Nine days before Christmas 2012, a tired and gaunt Mr Rodwell appeared in a grainy You Tube video clip, telling the world that after a year in captivity he held no hopes of rescue. “I personally hold no hope at all for being released,’’ he said. “I do not trust Abu Sayyaf. I do not trust the Australian Government. I just don’t trust anyone.” When a ransom of $94,600 was paid on February 3, 2013, the captors kept their hostage.
“The delay was that between the different levels (of the group) some people were trying to do a side deal on their own,” Mr Rodwell said. “Apparently it was at the insistence of the vice governor that they must release me otherwise he wouldn’t help them in the future with any cases.” As the tide went out on March 22 and darkness fell, Mr Rodwell was put on a boat. After about two hours at sea, he was transferred to a smaller fishing boat and taken to shore. “The fisherman paddled it to shore and told me to get out. I was told to start walking and say ‘please help me, please help me’.” He was spotted by Pagadian wharf workers in the early hours of the next morning and taken to the local police station. It was now March 23.
He was then transported to the US military base at Zamboanga for treatment before being flown Manila to recuperate. During this time he decided against a reunion with his Filipino wife, although he said he did not believe his estranged wife was involved in his abduction. “These Filipinos just love to talk. It’s quite possible that with Miraflor, being a bit loose-lipped, that might have helped with the information being disseminated about me being a foreigner and where I was living. It’s just a lack of prudence but these things happen.”
Interviewed ahead of the release of his memoir in 2014, Mr Rodwell said: “My story will certainly make it clear that I was foolish.” “As I found out afterwards there were warnings on Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade sites about the greater area but at the time I read it and put in the local context I thought it said avoid travelling in there if you’re not already there kind of thing. “I’d had experience living in areas where there tends to just be local people. I usually just do my own thing and try to blend in with the environment. I wasn’t trying to discover myself or that sort of thing. But I became complacent, which I think we all do no matter how worldly we are. Sometimes it’s hard to really determine what the dangers are.”
472 Days Captive of Abu Sayyaf — The Survival of Australian Warren Rodwell — written with independent researcher Dr Bob East — is based upon recorded interviews with the AFP upon release and details how Mr Rodwell was moved between about 30 different locations within the Basilan Islands as his captors tried to evade the military and other militant groups. “Bob did a PhD on Abu Sayyaf. He has pinpointed locations I was in and added historical stuff,” Mr Rodwell said. “The book is incisive. I’m satisfied that what’s being presented is accurate enough.” The story is part warning to other intrepid travellers, part tale of resilience. “When all is said and done, what really sustains you has to be your attitude and mental health,” he said.
Founded in the 1990s with seed money from Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network, the Abu Sayyaf has gained international notoriety for kidnapping sprees that target locals and foreigners in the Muslim-majority southern Philippines.
The Philippines’ lowly paid police force has an enduring reputation for corruption and it is not unusual for officers to be accused of involvement in kidnappings or other crimes related to earning more money.
THE NEWS BEFORE IT HAPPENS … ( Warren Rodwell actually released March 23, 2013 )
MANILA, Philippines – Kidnappers of Australian Warren Richard Rodwell have agreed to release him Thursday, March 21, two senior intelligence officials told Rappler. http://www.rappler.com/nation/24340-australian-kidnap-victim
As of 7 pm, “negotiations” for Rodwell’s release “are over…and he might be released” to a local Basilan official in Barangay Cabangalan, in the remote town of Tipo Tipo, according to a military intelligence officer.
The Abu Sayyaf kidnapped Rodwell, 54, from his home in Ipil, Zamboanga del Sur on Dec 5, 2011. The kidnap group initially set a P1-million ransom, but raised it to US$2-M by early 2012.
According to another intelligence official, local officials and the police are “just working on the process to transfer custody” from kidnappers to local executives. As of posting, however, our sources said Rodwell was not yet in the hands of the local executives.
In December last year, accounts on Facebook and YouTube posted and shared a video of Rodwell, holding a copy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer from Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. Wearing a black t-shirt, his hair is cropped short, his cheeks sunken. He spoke with a weary air.
“This video clip today is to say that I am alive,” Rodwell tells the camera. “I am waiting to be released. I have no idea what’s going on outside. I am just being held in isolation.”
He added: “I do not expect to be released before the year 2013 at the earliest. I personally hold no hope at all for being released. I do not trust the Abu Sayyaf. I do not trust the Australian government.”
Sources in western and Philippine intelligence earlier told Rappler negotiations have been difficult largely because it’s unclear who will lead it. Leadership has shifted, and there seem to be differing goals and tactics employed by at least two agencies: the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.
Excluding Rodwell, there are 7 foreigners in the hands of kidnappers in Mindanao — one Japanese, one Swiss, one Dutch, one Jordanian and 3 Malaysians.
Last February 2, kidnappers released the TV crew of Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani of the Dubai-based Al Arabiya
network. The ASG released Atyani’s cameraman Ramil Vela and audio technician Roland “Buboy” Letrero on Jolo island; but Atyani remains in captivity. The 3 were kidnapped in June 2012. – Rappler.com
Book of the Month – February 2015
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
February 2015 ‘Book of the Month’ is 472 Days Captive of the Abu Sayyaf: The Survival of Australian Warren Rodwell by Bob East.
With global terrorism on the rise, and the sinister increase in the taking of hostages by terrorist organisations, this book is particularly timely – making for essential reading across a range of disciplines, and for the general interested reader.
Documenting the kidnapping of Warren Richard Rodwell, an Australian university teacher and ex-member of the Australian Army, by a notorious terrorist/insurgent organisation, the Abu Sayyaf Group, the book describes a remarkable tale of survival. Held captive for 472 days in various jungle hideouts in the islands of Basilan and Tawi-Tawi, Rodwell endured an untreated gunshot wound and an almost starvation diet, losing over one third of his body weight. When he was finally released in March 2013, he was emaciated, physically and emotionally at the lowest point in his life, and totally bewildered. During his period of obligatory debriefing by both Philippine and Australian authorities, an amazing tale of perseverance unfolded. Rodwell’s determination to overcome all obstacles in his path to eventual freedom is the quintessence of all that is dear in life – life itself.
To find out more, please click link below to read a sample extract and contents page. http://www.cambridgescholars.com/book-of-the-month-february-2015-cambridge-scholars-publishing
Cambridge Scholars Publishing are offering all of their readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMFEB15 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 8th March 2015.
Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:
“On 5 December 2011, Warren Rodwell was kidnapped from his adopted home in Ipil, Zamboanga province in the southern Philippines by the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group. Rodwell survived 15 months as a captive – a rare feat given the organisation’s reputation for beheading captives whose ransom is not quickly paid. This is the story of Rodwell’s ordeal, and how he survived against the odds.”
—Dr Damien Kingsbury, Professor of Asian Political and Security Studies, Deakin University, Australia
“Warren Rodwell’s story is one of modern day survival. Kidnapped by Islamic extremists while living in the Philippines, Warren survived for 15 months in captivity being moved from location to location. How he maintained his sanity let alone his life is an incredible feat of courage, guts and determination. Warren’s story proves that where there is life there is definitely hope. A true inspiration.”
—David Richardson, Senior Journalist, 7 News Investigations and Features, Australia
Dec 5, 2011: Rodwell is abducted from his home in Ipil
Dec 22, 2011: Photos of Rodwell are distributed as kidnappers issue their first ransom demand of $22,000
Jan 5, 2012: a video of Rodwell saying the ransom has been increased to $2million is released
Jan 11, 2012: authorities say they have reason to believe Rodwell is moved from Basilan to Sulu
May 7, 2012: Rodwell’s wife, Miraflor Gutang, is placed under monitoring by police authorities
Dec 26, 2012: a video, seemingly recorded on Dec 15, is released with Rodwell saying he has lost hope of release
Jan 29, 2013: a photo of Rodwell is released with a message that he will be killed
March 21, 2013: Abu Sayyaf says negotiations to free Rodwell are complete and he will be released
March 23, 2013 Rodwell is released after 15 months, he is found in the port city of Pagadian
March 21, 2013: Abu Sayyaf says negotiations to free Rodwell are complete and he will be released
March 23, 2013 Rodwell is released after 15 months, he is found in the port city of Pagadian
NON FICTION BOOK (Biography) by Dr Bob East (Independent Researcher)
This book first published 2015 by CAMBRIDGE SCHOLARS PUBLISHING http://www.cambridgescholars.com
Lady Stephenson Library, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2PA, United Kingdom
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
ISBN (10): 1-4438-7058-7 ISBN (13): 978-1-4438-7058-0
For further information about the book
“472 Days Captive of the Abu Sayyaf – The Survival of Australian Warren Rodwell” by Bob East PhD, try the following webpage links http://www.warrenrodwell.com and https://fatforeigner.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/read-the-book/
Filipino gangs have gained notoriety for their high-profile abductions,
December 10, 2011 Lindsay Murdoch writes
The lights went out in the sleepy southern Philippine village of Pangi, on the outskirts of Ipil, as darkness fell. Australian adventurer and writer Warren Rodwell had returned home earlier in the day to check on workmen painting inside the house he had bought in the village in October.
Two weeks earlier, Miraflor Gutang, 27, whom he had married in June, had returned to her family’s home in another village after the couple had argued.
The painters had left Mr Rodwell’s house by the time four strangers walked into the village moments after a power outage and introduced themselves to villagers as policemen. One of the men, who were not masked, told villagers not to be afraid, but they were.
Mr Rodwell, 53, was probably preparing dinner in the tiny kitchen of the house when the men entered. The front gate and door may have been open as the house is protected by barbed wire and heavy bars. Mr Rodwell was taken off guard: his loaded handgun was under the pillow in his bedroom.
Tall and strong, the tattooed Australian was not going anywhere without a fight and struggled violently with the men. Neighbours heard a gunshot and Mr Rodwell’s screams for help. Police believe he was shot in the foot during the scuffle. They found a trail of blood from one of his thongs near the front door.
Neighbour Joel Bulay, 44, and his wife Rosanna, 41, saw Mr Rodwell being dragged from the house. Mr Bulay said two of the men held Mr Rodwell tightly by the arms. Another man armed with a pistol pushed him to walk faster from behind as another pulled him from the front by handcuffs. Ms Bulay said Mr Rodwell could hardly walk due to the pain as he was dragged past her house.
”He did not say anything and we are not sure that he saw us,” she said. The group disappeared into the darkness through bushes that lead to a river and the open sea. ”I was really scared, so scared that I was trembling and could do nothing because we feared for our own safety,” Mr Bulay said. ”One of my girls, who is five years old, suspected it was a kidnapping and I told her to keep quiet because we were scared the gunmen would take us and use our family as a shield in their escape.”
The villagers have reason to be scared. In April 1995, militants from the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf attacked and pillaged the seaside town of Ipil, 130 kilometres from the provincial capital Zamboanga City. Fifty-three people were left dead.
In September, the same group kidnapped Luisa Morrison, the Filipino wife of a Scotsman, from her beauty salon in Ipil. The militants took her to their stronghold on Basilan Island, four hours away by speedboat. She was rescued a week later during a fierce battle with Philippine security forces in which one soldier was killed.
Grave fears are held for Mr Rodwell, who after leaving Sydney a decade ago travelled frequently in developing countries and worked for more than eight years as an English teacher in China.
Philippine security forces have stepped up their hunt for Abu Sayyaf militants who have been blamed for the kidnapping of numerous foreigners and wealthy Filipinos, some of whom have been beheaded if ransoms have not been paid.
Authorities have not ruled out that elements of other Muslim groups or criminal gangs involved in the region’s lucrative kidnapping-for-ransom industry are behind the incident.
Mr Rodwell knew the area where he was living was dangerous but had refused police protection in June, saying he could look after himself. The Philippine media has reported he is a former Australian soldier. On several websites Mr Rodwell, whose former wife and three adult children live in Western Australia, describes himself as a full-time expatriate. On one posting he wrote that true wealth is best measured in terms of inner peace and happiness, not material things.
”Accepting your own mortality is also most useful, especially if you don’t have financial or family responsibilities back in your place or origin,” he wrote. By all accounts Mr Rodwell was happy with village life, running a store in Ipil with Ms Gutang, also known as Grace, who he reportedly met on the internet.
However, neighbours said that he was not particularly friendly and he had chased some people away from his house. ”He is really strict and perceived as arrogant,” Mr Bulay said. A sign at the house warns about trespassing. Merly Suan, 18, another resident of the village, described Mr Rodwell as a silent man who went about his daily business alone. ”He sometimes smiles at me if I see him on his motor bike … I think he is a good man and we pity him,” she said. ”We pray for his safety.”
The Australian government’s handling of the incident will be a test of the recommendations of the Senate inquiry into the kidnappings of Australians overseas, which were made public last month. The government has established a multi-agency group that includes federal police, diplomats and intelligence agents. When Australian officials arrived in Zamboanga City, one of the first things they did was to ask Philippine authorities to impose a news blackout on the hunt for the kidnappers.
with Al Jacinto in Ipil
Reverend Marvin talks about facing disappointment
The Rev Dave Marvin, of St Mary’s Church, Greasley, Nottinghamshire, England speaks about wrong expectations and facing disappointment.
The other day I came across this story. After five years, a psychiatrist told his patient that he seldom uses the term “cured” but he was pleased to announce that she was completely cured.
To his surprise, the patient became disappointed. The doctor asked, “What’s wrong? I thought you would be thrilled to know that you were cured”. The woman replied, “Doctor, look at it from my point of view. Five years ago I was Joan of Arc. Now I am nobody”.
This is a woman who was disappointed because she thought/expected to be someone who she clearly wasn’t and wasn’t happy when she faced the reality of her situation.
That’s why many people face disappointments today; they have the wrong expectations. As a result, they face more and more disappointments and don’t really know how to deal with them.
I read an article written by Warren Rodwell who had been held hostage by a terrorist group and had featured in a number of ransom videos. He told Daily Mail Australia he became more compliant after he lost hope.
“Whatever someone wants, you give it to them”, he said.
“You just do what you’re told. Nothing really has meaning to you any more. Someone tells you “say this” and you say it. You just imagine whoever is watching it is smart enough to realise you haven’t really got your heart in it. Once you lose hope you lose heart.”
Our Lord Jesus suffered unthinkable horrors at the hands of his captors and was killed in one of the cruellest forms of execution imaginable. We know that he suffered both physically and mentally. The Bible tells us that before his death Jesus said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death”.
We’re also told that in his anguish he prayed earnestly and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
But his death opened up immense opportunities for us and gave us hope even in our darkest of times. It’s up to us to accept the light of Christ, to accept those opportunities and use them to bring Christ’s light into the lives of those who are living in dark times, seemingly without hope. Because ‘Once you lose heart, you lose hope’; I pray that it won’t be the heart of Jesus and the hope that he brings.
COMMENT 3 (Newest to oldest):
Good question, Taiwan (BELOW).
A body is animated by the soul. Jesus’ body was no different, except that it was both fully human and fully divine: there wasn’t a “human part” and a “divine part”. As his whole nature was fully human and fully divine, it follows that his soul was both fully human and fully divine as well, for he could not be the Word Incarnate without the Word being part of all of his incarnate nature.
This is attested by the Fathers, for example St John Damascene:
By the fact that at Christ’s death his soul was separated from his flesh, his one person is not itself divided into two persons; for the human body and soul of Christ have existed in the same way from the beginning of his earthly existence, in the divine person of the Word; and in death, although separated from each other, both remained with one and the same person of the Word.
De fide orth. 3, 27: quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church 626
No one knows exactly how old Jesus was when he died on the cross, but he was probably 33 years of age. This could naturally lead one to wonder, in human terms, if Jesus was twenty years older (Warren Rodwell was 53 at the time of his capture); would Jesus have matured more in his worldliness and outlook, and not be so grief-stricken (sorrowful) up to the point of his death?
Perhaps, someone well-versed in the Bible (such as Rev Dave Marvin, himself) might be able to provide some insight into this scenario.
COMMENT 2 (Newest to oldest):
Taiwan writes: I wonder why Jesus was so sorrowful up to the point of his death? After all he came to Earth expressly in order to die (for man’s sins)
COMMENT 1 (Newest to oldest):
472 Days writes:
After graduating in History & Politics from the University of Exeter, English born television producer Matt Etheridge worked for British Sky Broadcasting in London for eight years prior to joining the flagship Australian commercial free-to-air network Channel 9 (Sydney) in 2010. Matt writes of his encounter with and personal impressions of kidnap survivor Warren Rodwell, the longest held Australian captive outside of war time.
I was lucky enough to meet Warren Rodwell when my Executive Producer asked me to chase a story on a true Aussie survivor. I was told only of his name at first and that he had been held hostage by Islamic militants for over a year. I then had a chase on my hands to read up and lock him in for an interview for the Channel 9 Today Show. .
. Reading his story, I was impressed. 472 days in captivity and at the hands of ruthless bastards, infamous for beheadings. This had to be some guy to survive that. My mind was already racing with questions and so when I got hold of him, I couldn’t let him go. We chatted for almost three hours and I was glued to the phone.
Warren had a typically Australian charm. Modest, self-deprecating and funny. His captors had shot him in the hand, threatened him, starved him and made some steep ransom demands. But Warren refused to give in. “What kept you going?” I asked him. “My passion for Rugby League and the NRL,” he said. “I held on to the spirit and determination of those players and thought to myself, how would they be coached to deal with a situation like this?” “Also, I really wanted to taste potatoes again.” I was in stitches. His sense of humour and plucky approach was inspiring. Here was a guy, who faced one of the toughest ordeals I can imagine and how did he keep it together? His love of Aussie rugby league football and mash. . Warren made it down from Queensland to the Channel Nine television studios in Sydney to appear live on the TODAY Show, Australia’s longest running morning breakfast news program. That evening, I took him to an NRL game out at Penrith in the far western suburbs, where the Panthers were taking on the North Queensland Cowboys.
It was a privilege to spend time with this man who I could see loved the game and loved life. Mr Rodwell spoke enthusiastically of how he grew up playing schoolboy rugby league in northern New South Wales, and the character and team-building qualities it so often develops in players. .
He stated that rugby league fans are, for the most part, unaffected by any ignorant negativity of non-devotees, as this code of football historically commenced as the result of a working class struggle. .
. The Panthers won and Warren was extremely happy. He had tipped the Penrith team and South Sydney Rabbitohs would make it to the season finals. He was almost spot on and I thought of him immediately as I watched the Bunnies legendary 2014 Grand Final, their first victory since 1971. I text him during the match and received a message back just before full time: “Glory glory to South Sydney.” It struck me then. The Rabbitohs and Warren share a lot in common.
Both Souths and Warren had experienced dark days. But now they are enjoying the light and I guess tough experiences make the moments of joy, elation and triumph all the more satisfying.
. Almost as satisfying as mashed potato. Isn’t that right, Warren? .