Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kidnappers free 2 hostages in Mindanao

MARAWI CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 24, 2011) – Kidnappers have freed Thursday a faculty member and a student they seized inside the Mindanao State University in the southern Philippines, officials said.

Officials said the duo - Cris Neil Gulfan, 24, and Aubrey Virtudez, 19, were released in the village of Panggao near Piagapo town in Lanao del Sur, one of five provinces under the troubled Muslim autonomous region.

“They are okay and were brought to the headquarters of the 103rd Infantry Brigade for debriefing and medical check up and subsequently handed over to their respective families,” said Colonel Daniel Lucero, the brigade commander.

He said the kidnappers released the hostages due to pressure exerted by joint police and military operations and Sultan Fahad Salic, the mayor of Marawi City.

Lucero said no ransom was paid to the kidnappers for the release of Gulfan, a faculty member of the Al-Khawirizmi International College and Virtudez, who were both seized February 19 inside the university compound.

Authorities did not say who were behind the kidnappings, but there had been similar incidents in the past where gunmen also seized innocent students inside the compound of the Mindanao State University. (Mindnaao Examiner)

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