ZAMBOANGA CITY– Kidnappers have freed a Filipino professor at dawn Wednesday after holding him captive for more than five weeks.
Police said Al Rashid Rojas was released in Jolo. It was not immediately known if ransom was paid, but the group originally demanded P20 million for his safe release.
Rojas – who is also a researcher at the Western Mindanao State University here – was kidnapped June 22 in his house in Campo Islam village in Zamboanga City by gunmen in military uniform on June 22.
Authorities have linked Abu Sayyaf militants led by Idang Susukan to the kidnapping of Rojas.
Police said Susukan’s group was also involved in the kidnappings of a local school principal Flordeliza Ongchua in November 2012 and a restaurant owner Edgar Fabella in January this year. Both had been freed unharmed after their family paid ransom to the gang.
The Abu Sayyaf is still holding a number of Filipino and foreign victims in the southern Philippines.