KOTA KINABALU: Borneo Paradise Resort worker Novelito Arcosel was handed over to his sister in Zamboanga City on Thursday, nearly two weeks after he fleeing from his captors in the southern Philippine island of Tawi Tawi.
The Philippines Armed Forces’ Southern Command spokesman Lt Col Renoir Pascua said military officials who had been questioning the 19-year-old Novelito for the past 10 days, handed Novelito over to his sister Marilyn.
In Lahad Datu, Novelito’s father Claudio said he had not been told of his son’s release and was anxiously waiting for an opportunity to talk to him.
“I don’t know why they have not contacted us here. I can’t wait to hear Nonoy's voice again,” said Claudio, 51, when met at his quarters in a brick- making factory.
Claudio said he was not certain about his son’s future plans or whether he wanted to return to Sabah where he has been staying since the age of 13.
Lt Col Pascua told The Star via telephone from Zamboanga City that prior to Novelito’s release, Marilyn had provided the military an affidavit reaffirming her brother’s identity and that he is a Filipino national.
In the affidavit, Marilyn had also stated that Novelito had obtained a new Philippines passport in Sept 2002 and worked at the Borneo Paradise resort in Kunak until he and another five workers were abducted from the resort on Oct 5.
The other abducted resort workers are Indonesians Arsyad Sagoni, 43, and Azrah Sariban, 50, and two others known only as Suwito, 23, Annuar, 27, and Filipino Amir Nangi, 50.
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