Duterte vows to end Abu Sayyaf kidnappings
(Philstar.com) - June 24, 2016 - 4:30pm
MANILA, Philippines — President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Friday vowed to put an end to the Abu Sayyaf menace hours after the terrorist group released Filipina kidnap victim Marites Flor.
 
“I don’t want to pick a fight with anybody but there will be a time. I have to confront Abu Sayyaf. It’s not yet forthcoming,” Duterte said in a speech delivered during the turnover ceremony of the Davao City Police Office.
 
“Their kidnapping must stop. It has given us a very bad image,” he added.
 
“There will be reckoning one of these days.”
 
Duterte confirmed that negotiations were held to secure the release of Flor, who was present during the turnover rites. He said efforts are underway to free Norwegian hostage Kjartan Sekkingstad but did not elaborate.
 
Flor told Duterte that she was asked to wake up Friday dawn because she was going somewhere. A video by radio station dzMM showed Flor being escorted by incoming peace adviser Jesus Dureza in Davao City.
 
“We are able to negotiate for the release of Marites Flor,” Duterte said.
 
“Instrumental in the release is (incoming) Secretary Jesus Dureza. Even (Sulu) Gov. Abdusakur Tan also helped” he added.
 
Abu Sayyaf extremists abducted Flor, Sekkingstad and Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, in Samal Island off Davao Oriental last September.
 
The bandits beheaded Ridsdel last April and executed Hall last week because their ransom demands were not met. — with a report from Natasha Isidro

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