Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sayyaf frees kidnapped Basilan trader

Photo released by authorities to the Mindanao Examiner shows freed kidnapped Filipina trader Rose Baranda while she is being assited by Basilan province Vice Governor Al Rasheed Sakalahul shortly after the Abu Sayyaf released the woman late on Saturday, December 25, 2010.

BASILAN, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 25, 2010) – Kidnappers have freed late Saturday a Filipina trader after 13 weeks in captivity in the southern Philippine province of Basilan, officials said.

Officials said Rose Baranda was released at around 7:45 p.m. near the town of Tipo-Tipo. “Mrs. Rose Baranda was released by her abductors through Vice Governor Al Rasheed Sakalahul, the head of the crisis management committee. Mrs. Baranda is now reunited with her family,” said Army Colonel Nicanor Dolojan, commander of military forces in Basilan.

Dolojan did not say if ransom was paid for the safe release of Baranda, but the kidnappers originally demanded P3 million ransom and lowered this to P700,000.

Baranda was kidnapped on November 2 by rebels led by Nur Hassan Jamiri, who is believed holding another trader, Larry Tam Delos Santos, in Basilan, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.

Delos Santos was seized in his farm resort in Isabela City on December 16. The abduction came two days after Abu Sayyaf rebels freed a kidnapped school principal Cecilia Sosas, who was seized on November 15, after negotiators paid P200,000 ransom.

Kidnappings-for-ransom are not uncommon in Basilan where dozens of people had been seized over the years and most of them freed in exchange for huge ransoms. (Mindanao Examiner)

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