Jakarta. Vice President Jusuf Kalla played down rumors the government paid a hefty ransom to release four Indonesians taken hostage by militant group Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines.
"The government surely wouldn't," Kalla said in Jakarta on Thursday (12/05).
The four were released earlier on Wednesday and are currently heading to Indonesia where they are expected to arrive late Thursday in Jakarta.
Captain Ariyanto Misnan was held hostage for weeks with chief officer Loren Marines Petrus Rumawi, second officer Dede Irfan Hilmi and helmsman Samsir.
President Joko Widodo had earlier praised a trilateral meeting between Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines on May 5, adding that Philippine authorities cooperated well with Indonesian parties.
An unconfirmed report had said the Indonesians were released after complying with 100 million Peso ($2.15 million) ransom demand. However, the Jakarta Globe is yet to confirm this information.