Indonesian govt pushing company to offer compensation to hostages families

The Indonesian government has ordered the company owning Tugboat Charles to pay compensation to the seven hostages families as their breadwinners are being held hostage by armed groups in southern Philippines since last June.

“The company has agreed to give them compensation, such as during the Eid Holiday, for their monthly payments, education, and so on, so basically they (the company) will pay it,” Foreign Affairs Ministrys Director of Indonesian Citizens and Legal Entities Protection, Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, stated here on Monday.

Iqbal affirmed that the government will continue to assist the families, while the efforts to release their members were still underway, apart from ensuring that the compensation from the company could be received regularly.

“Based on our past experiences, we will intensify communication with the families,” he noted.

With regard to the efforts to release the seven hostages, Iqbal said the government is still working with several parties, both in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Iqbal also confirmed that the Indonesian citizens held captive by the Abu Sayyaf militant group in the southern Philippines are in good condition.

“They are divided into two groups and are being moved around Jolo Island,” he revealed.

As part of the efforts, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi had met with her Philippines counterpart Perfecto Yasay Jr. on the sidelines of an ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Vientiane, Laos, in July to discuss ways to free several Indonesian sailors held hostage by an armed group in southern Philippines.

Minister Marsudi also affirmed that joint maritime patrols by Indonesia and the Philippines should be realized soon to secure Indonesian ships and their crew sailing through the Philippine waters.

On June 20, 2016, seven sailors of the Charles 001 tugboat and the Robby 152 barge were kidnapped by separatists in the Sulu Sea.

While attempts were being made to negotiate the release of the seven sailors, three more Indonesian crewmen of a Malaysian fishing boat were captured on July 9, 2016.

Source: Antara News