Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kidnapped Cotabato trader freed

A wharf in Cotabato City in the southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Apr. 10, 2011) – Kidnappers have freed before dawn Sunday a trader they held for more than a week in the southern Philippines, officials said.

Officials said Jinky Yap was released on a remote village in Datu Piang town in Maguindanao province where she was recovered by security forces. Yap, whose family runs a grocery store, is frail and could hardly speak to tell her harrowing ordeal from the hands of her kidnappers.

Other reports said the trader was released in the town of Talayan.

Yap was later taken to a clinic where doctors examined her. Officials insisted that no ransom was paid to the kidnappers, who originally demanded several millions of pesos in exchange for her freedom.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front allegedly helped secure Yap’s freedom and that the presence of troops near the kidnappers’ hideout forced them to release the woman.

But other sources said a still unspecified amount ransom was paid by Yap’s family to the gang, which is composed of MILF rebels and former fighters.

Yap was kidnapped inside April 1 from her store in Cotabato City. (With a report from Ferdinand Cabrera)

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