Duterte: ‘I have to confront Abu Sayyaf’

Photo courtesy of Peace Sec. Jesus Dureza
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President-elect Rodrigo Duterte presented Friday afternoon Filipina Marites Flor who was abducted by the Abu Sayyaf in Samal Island last year.

“We were able to negotiate for the release of Marites Flor,” said Duterte who also disclosed that negotiations for the release of Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad remain underway.

“Hindi pa raw naka-cross because of the rough seas, I was told. I hope it’s true,” Duterte said during a police ceremony inside the Davao City Police Office compound.

Flor told Duterte that  she was fine.

“I was awakened at dawn and was told that I will be sent home,” Flor told Duterte.

She also recounted her ordeal.

“After they beheaded (Robert) Hall, they told me I was next,” she said.

Duterte recognized the roles of Peace Sec. Jesus Dureza who personally went to Jolo to receive the kidnap victim. Also present during the presentation was Sakur Tan, former governor of Sulu.  Tan’s role in the negotiations was not still not clear as of this writing.

Duterte said he was hoping for the immediate release of the Norwegian victim.

“Hopefull, basin ma-release na. I hope,” Duterte said.

Flor was kidnapped in September last year in Samal Island, along with her Canadian boyfriend Robert Hall and another Canadian John Ridsdel and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad.

The bandits decapitated Ridsdel and recently, Hall after the ransom asked was not met.

Meanwhile, Duterte said the activities of the Abu Sayyaf must stop — saying these kidnappings “gave us a very bad image.”

“I don’t want to pick a fight with anybody but there will be a time,” he said. “I have to confront Abu Sayyaf.”


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