Warren Rodwell
Sydney-born Warren Rodwell. Image courtesy of journals.worldnomads.com

MANILA, Philippines-Warren Rodwell, a former Australian soldier held hostage for 15 months by  al-Qaeda linked militants operating in Mindanao,  has been released on Saturday.

Basilan vice-governor Al-Rasheed Sakalahu, who helped with the negotiations,  over media reports said that a ransom of almost $A94,000 ($117,500) was channeled to Abu Sayyaf group in exchange of  Rodwell’s freedom.

The vice governor however said he has no idea where the money came from. Also he confirmed the Australian government has played no role in Rodwell’s release, reports say.

The Philippines and Australia have maintained “no ransom” policy on cases of kidnapping.

It was learned the amount was lowered than the previous  $US2 million  ($2.4 million) ransom the Islamic militant group demanded after they snatched Rodwell from his seashore residence in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay in December 2011.

Rodwell, 54, is married to a Filipina.