Abu Sayyaf frees lady trader on Xmas night

A LADY trader was freed without payment of ransom after spending almost two months in captivity in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf bandits in the island province of Basilan, a top police official announced Sunday.

Basilan police director Sr. Supt. Cristeto Rey Gonzalodo said the lady trader Rose Baranda, 59, was freed around 7:40 p.m. of Christmas Day.

Gonzalodo said Baranda was picked-up by Vice-Governor Alrasheed Sakkalahul, who chairs the Crisis Management Committee (CMC), in Sitio Limbo Kassah, Barangay Magkawa, Al-Barka municipality.

Gonzalodo said Baranda’s release came following the concerted efforts initiated by the Sakkalahul-led CMC backed by the Al-Barka Municipal CMC headed by Mayor Mohammad Kabukisan.

The Abu Sayyaf bandits led by Nurhasan Jamiri were forced to free Baranda also because of her deteriorating health condition, he said.

Baranda was kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf bandits last November 2 in the boundary of Ungkaya Pukan and Tipo-Tipo towns.

She was traveling from Lamitan municipality to Sumisip town when the Abu Sayyaf bandits led by Nurhassan Jamiri seized her.

Baranda ate porridge, the first meal after her release and has undergone medical examination and debriefing by the police and military in Basilan, Gonzalodo said.

Baranda has reunited with her family and celebrated Christmas with her family, Gonzalodo said. PNA


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