Abu Sayyaf's Filipina captive freed unharmed

Roel Pareño - Philstar.com

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - The Abu Sayyaf group freed unharmed the Filipina hostage Thursday night in Sulu but kept its Norwegian captive to assert their P300-million ransom demand.

Abu Sayyaf spokesman Muammar Askali alias Abu Rami said they freed Marites Flor about 8 p.m. Thursday and turned her over to an emissary.

The victim was released by the Abu Sayyaf group under Mujer Yadah.

While Flor was freed, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad was left in the custody of the Abu Sayyaf group.

The two were among the four captives taken from Samal Island off Davao del Norte last September 21 and were brought to Sulu.

Their two other companions, Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, were separately beheaded in April and June after failure to pay the P300-million ransom for each captive.

According to a source, Abu Rami said they allegedly received P20 million for the release of the Filipina captive, who was later on brought to the house of Sulu Gov. Abdusakur “Totoh” Tan II.

Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), confirmed the release of Flor but said they have no details yet.

Tan said Flor was turned over to the custody of the Joint Task Force Sulu Friday noon and brought to the trauma hospital for medical check.

The military official said they are still trying to get details from the victim on how she was freed.

Abu Rami said they decided to release Flor, citing her condition after the two Canadians were executed.

“Palaging umiiyak na lang. Baka ano pa ang mangyari dito,” the source said quoting Abu Rami.

However, when asked about the fate of Sekkingstad, Abu Rami said they will continue to assert their P300-million ransom demand.

The Abu Sayyaf gave no further detail on the present condition of the Norwegian captive. 

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