Military, police operations to continue until all ASG hostages freed

MANILA, June 24 (PNA) — Military and law enforcement operations will continue until all Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) hostages are all freed.

This was disclosed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Friday when asked for a reaction on the release of Marites Flor by her ASG captors.

“The safe return of Ms. Marites Flor after more than nine months of captivity is a most welcome development. The safe release of other captives remains a vital objective of continuing military and law enforcement operations against the ASG,” he added.

Flor, the girlfriend of beheaded Canadian captive Robert Hall, was freed by her captors around 4:30 a.m. in front of the home of Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan in Barangay Asturias, Jolo.

She was turned over to Joint Task Force Sulu at around 11 a.m. and there undergone medical examination and debriefing.

Hall was beheaded last June 13 while fellow Canadian John Ridsel was executed by the bandits last April 25 after the Philippine and Canadian governments decided to stick to no-ransom policy.

It was still unknown on whether ransom was paid to secure Flor’s release. Still at the hands of the bandits is Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstand. All four were kidnapped by the ASG during their attack on Samal Island last Sept. 21. Priam Nepomuceno/PNA/