ZAMBOANGA CITY – Abu Sayyaf militants have freed a kidnapped government teacher in the southern Filipino province of Sulu, officials said.
Officials said Shariff Benjamin Asamli Ubaid, who was abducted in the capital town of Jolo on September 22, has been reunited with his family after being freed late Monday. It was unknown whether his family paid ransom or not for his freedom, but sources in Sulu claimed that the kidnappers had demanded P1.5 million ransom.
The kidnapping was reported only on September 24 after militants allegedly used Ubaid’s cell phone to demand the ransom. It was unclear how the abductors managed to enter Jolo and escaped with their hostage considering the huge presence of soldiers and policemen in the town.
One the eve of his abduction, Ubaid wrote this on his Facebook account: “Have faith in Allah, everything will be in good hands!”
Police and military authorities did not release any information or reports about the abduction, but the Department of Education in the Muslim autonomous region confirmed this.
The Abu Sayyaf has been largely blamed for many ransom kidnappings in the troubled region of Mindanao. And the abduction occurred while the whole of southern Philippines is under an extended period of martial rule due to threats of terrorism and insurgency. (Mindanao Examiner)
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