FOLLOWING his release from the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), the freed hostage Kjartan Sekkingstad on Saturday thanked the Philippine government led by President Rodrigo Duterter for facilitating his release.

Freed Norwegian hostage thanks Pres. Duterte
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“Thank you to President Duterte,” Sekkingstad was quoted as saying in a phone conversation with Dureza.

Sekkingstad was released by his captors at around 2 p.m Saturday.

The freed captive was supposed to be presented to the media in Davao City but the event was cancelled due to bad weather.

In a press statement on Saturday Peace process adviser Jesus Dureza said Sekkingstad would be staying overnight at the place of Moro National Liberation Front chair Nur Misuari “who volunteered to host his stay due to heavy rains and nightfall.”

“Men of Misuari and former Gov. Sakur Tan and other volunteers helped in the release,” Dureza said.

Sekkingstad is scheduled to be brought in Davao City on Sunday morning.

“I will fly him out of Jolo town tomorrow morning,” he said.

Dureza said the Norwegian’s release was “capped (by) months of quiet, patient but determined efforts with the assistance of all sectors.”

It was reported that Sekkingstad was supposed to be freed Friday night by the bandit group but they were still waiting for the delivery of the P30 million ransom.

Sekkingstad is one of the four people hostaged by the ASG in a Samal resort last year.

Earlier this year, two of his companions, Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, were beheaded while Filipina Marites Flor was earlier freed. AJRSP

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