DAVAO CITY, Philippines- The militant group Abu Sayyaf has freed Marites Flor, the Filipina hostage abducted from a resort on Samal Island last year, at dawn Friday, June 24.
On September 21, 2015, Flor along with Canadian nationals Robert Hall, John Ridsdel and Norwegian resort manager Kjartan Sekkingstad were taken from yachts at a marina off Davao del Norte. Due to failure to pay the P300-million ransom for each captive, the bandit group had separately beheaded Ridsdel and Hall.
While Flor has been released by the Abu Sayyaf group under Mujer Yadah, Sekkingstad is still being kept captive. A source by the Philippine star claimed the group apparently received P20 million for the release of Flor.
In her interview with ABS-CBN News, Flor thanked law enforcers who helped in securing her freedom from the Abu Sayyaf after being held captive for 9 months.
Speaking to ABS-CBN News, an emotional Flor said: “Nandito ako ngayon kahit nawala man yung fiancé ko, at least ako nakalaya ako nang buhay.”
(I’m here now and even if my fiancé is already gone, at least I was released alive.)
According to Flor, the Abu Sayyaf group treated them like dogs during the time she was held captive. She revealed that she was slapped in two different instances while the other captives were beaten.
Flor also recounted the day the bandits beheaded her fiancé, Hall.
“Sobrang sakit. Kasi nakikita mo bago pugutan siya ng ulo. Sobrang sakit. Pinapanood nila. Masaya sila na gagawin nila ‘yun. Linagyan lang nila posas tapos dinala sa harapan,” Flor said.
(It was so painful. Because I saw him just before he was beheaded. It was so painful. They were watching and were happy about what they were about to do. They just tied him and brought him in front.)
Incoming peace process adviser Jesus Dureza said Flor’s release was an act of goodwill because the group knew that incoming President Rodrigo Duterte “wanted badly the release of the hostages”.
Watch the video.
Abu Sayyaf: Terror Group Responsible for Philippines’ Worst Terrorist Attack
A Filipino Islamist militant group based in Jolo and Basilan islands in the Philippines, the Abu Sayyaf has carried out kidnappings, bombings, extortion and assassinations in their apparent fight for an independent Islamic province in the Philippines. However, the group is also involved in various criminal activities making the goals of the group appear to have changed from an ideological intent to criminal objectives.