Abu Sayyaf frees Filipina hostage

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Incoming Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza fetched Marites Flor from Jolo and flew her to Davao to meet President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Abu Sayyaf has released Filipina kidnap victim Marites Flor, the Sulu Provincial Police said Friday.

Senior Superintendent Wilfredo Cayat, Sulu police chief, told CNN Philippines Flor was freed at dawn Friday.

Incoming Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza fetched Flor from Jolo and flew her to Davao to meet President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

Speaking at the Davao police change of command ceremony, Duterte said he directed negotiations with the Abu Sayyaf for Flor’s release. He did not elaborate.

 

An emotional Flor told reporters the leader of her captors woke her up at dawn, removed her handcuffs and told her she will be “fetched.”

Maj. Filemon Tan, spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command, said Flor was brought to the residence of Sulu Governor Abdusakur "Toto" Tan II at around 4:30 a.m. She was handed to the Joint Task Force Sulu and underwent a medical check up.

“Western Mindanao Command is glad that Ms. Flor is now safe and is on her way back to her family and can enjoy a normal life with them again,” Tan said.

There was no immediate word on whether ransom was paid for Flor.

 

Flor was abducted from a resort on Samal Island in September 2015, along with Canadians Robert Hall and John Ridsdel, and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad.

The Abu Sayyaf beheaded Hall and Ridsdel after no ransom was paid to spare their lives. Sekkingstad is still being held by the terror group.

Duterte said negotiations are also underway to free Sekkingstad.

President Benigno Aquino III last week said a private group was negotiating for Sekkingstad’s release despite the Philippine government’s no-ransom policy.

Aquino also said he considered declaring martial law in the conflict-stricken province but dropped the idea because there was no guarantee it would lead to the rescue of the hostages.

Meanwhile, incoming Armed Forces Chief Lieutenant General Ricardo Visaya said declaring martial law in Sulu and Basilan may be an option for the administration for the incoming Duterte administration.

Addressing a meeting of business leaders in Davao City early this week, Duterte said there will soon be a “day of reckoning” with the Abu Sayyaf and promised to dismantle the group.

Related: Foreign captives held by Philippine militants appeal for help

Read: Malacañang reiterates 'no ransom policy' amid Abu Sayyaf threat

This is a developing story.

CNN Philippines' Gerg Cahiles contributed to this report.