Zamboanga kidnappers free hostage after 2 months in captivity

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 1, 2011) – Suspected Muslim rebels freed a young woman they kidnapped in Zamboanga City after more than two months in captivity in the southern Philippines.

Police said Mary Cuartocruz, 21, was released late Monday in the town of Alicia in Zamboanga Sibugay. The woman was later brought to the nearby town of Ipil where she underwent medical examination.

Gunmen seized the young woman and fatally shot her grand father who tried to rescue her in Zamboanga City on December 14.

The old man was shot as he tried to fight off the gunmen who barged inside their house in the village called Manicahan. The attackers forcibly took Cuartocruz and escaped.

The local police chief, Edwin de Ocampo, did not give details of the release, but admitted the woman’s family paid so-called “goodwill money” in exchange for the victim’s freedom.

“There was no ransom paid to the kidnappers, but I was told by the woman’s mother that they only gave goodwill money,” he said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, but the captors were also linked by the police to previous kidnappings in Zamboanga and are suspected to be rebels operating in the provinces.

Abu Sayyaf kidnappers are still holding a Chinese-Filipino trader Larry Tan delos Santos in the neighboring province of Basilan since December and his captors originally demanded P20 million, but eventually lowered this to P5 million, for his safe release.

-from Mindanao examiner blog-



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