Philippine militants release Filipina hostage — police

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Marites Flor is seen after she was released by Abu Sayyaf Islamic militants in Jolo, the southern island of Mindanao, on June 24. AFP PHOTO

JOLO, Philippines: A Filipina held hostage by a notorious kidnapping-for-ransom gang in the strife-torn southern Philippines was released from captivity Friday, police said, a week after her Canadian boyfriend was beheaded by the gunmen.

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Marites Flor was among four people abducted nine months ago by Abu Sayyaf Islamic militants based on remote and mountainous southern islands that have earned millions of dollars from kidnappings in recent years.

Flor’s partner, Robert Hall, was murdered after a ransom deadline lapsed last week and following a similar killing of the other Canadian hostage, John Ridsdel, in April.

Flor was freed in Sulu, a remote archipelago known as a hideout of the militants, Wilfredo Cayat told Agence France-Presse.

Cayat did not give details on the circumstances of her release except that she was dropped off outside the house of local politician Abdusakur Tan on Jolo, the main island in Sulu.

“She was released early morning somewhere in the province of Sulu and brought to the governor’s house. I have no idea if ransom was paid,” Cayat said.

The fate of Norwegian hostage Kjartan Sekkingstad, who was abducted along with the three, remained unknown.

All were seized in September from aboard yachts at a tourist resort on Samal island, about 500 kilometers (300 miles) to the west of Sulu. AFP

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1 Comment

  1. Ignacio Balbutin on

    The Philippine navy should patrol the tourist areas and seas frequented by tourist to ensure their safety. When the tourists feel safe of course they will come by the tens of thousands because Philippines has many beautiful islands and beaches to offer. When the tourist flock to the country it will only be the locals who will be benefitted.