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Sayyafs free kidnapped Filipino mining executive

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Abu Sayyaf rebels have freed a Filipino nickel mining executive they kidnapped in May in Tawi-Tawi province in southern Philippines, officials said Wednesday.

Captain Roy Trinidad, a military spokesman, said Priscillano Garcia – who works for a mining firm in Tumbagaan Island in Languyan town – was released on Tuesday evening in the town of Indanan in Sulu, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.

Garcia was already in a boat bound for Zamboanga City when government soldiers tracked down in Jolo town, according to Trinidad.

Other reports said Garcia was released by the rebel group after paying over a million pesos in ransom. But Trinidad told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner that “the rebels freed the victim due to continued military operation against them.”

The Abu Sayyaf is still holding about a dozen Filipino and foreigners they kidnapped in different areas in the southern Philippines.

Last year, the Abu Sayyaf also released two mining workers – Marcial Espana and Eddie Reubal – after almost a year in captivity in Sulu’s Patikul town. The two men were seized in May 2013 in Tawi-Tawi province – along with Mar Hadjula, who was later freed – while working for SR Languyan (nickel) Mining Corporation. (Mindanao Examiner)

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