Sulu barangay chief arrested for kidnapping

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(CNN Philippines) - A barangay chairwoman from Talipao, Sulu was arrested on Saturday.

Fauzia Abdullah, chairwoman of Barangay Niyog Sangahan was arrested by authorities based on a standing warrant of arrest for kidnapping issued by Judge Dax Gonzaga Xenos of 11th Judicial Regional Branch 34 of Panabo City, Davao Del Norte.

The warrant was issued in connection with the kidnapping of Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, and Filipina Marites Flor from a resort in Samal Island in 2015.

The four victims were brought by members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to Sulu. Ridsel and Hall were beheaded, while Flor and and Sekkingstad were released in September.

Related: Freed ASG hostage Marites Flor: We were treated like dogs

According to a press release from the Information Support Team of Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS), Abdullah reportedly coddled members of the ASG, and "most often involved in managing and providing leadership especially in decision making inside the ASG."

Brig. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, commander of JTFS said, "The arrest of Abdulla is a major blow to the leadership of the ASG. The ASG's information network, command, and decision making will be severely affected with the arrest of a major figure inside their leadership."

Related: Who are the Abu Sayyaf?

He added Abdullah's arrest "is a product of intensified cooperation between the people of Sulu and our soldiers and policemen in protecting local communities from the scourge of terrorism. Our soldiers will continue to conduct combat operations to destroy the ASG and rescue the remaining hostages."

Abdullah was brought to the Sulu provincial police office for proper documentation and processing.