Kidnapped Taiwanese released in Jolo

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

MANILA (Updated) -- The Philippine military on Saturday said a Taiwanese tourist who was kidnapped more than a month ago in Malaysia has been released in the southern Philippines.

Sulu provincial military commander Colonel Jose Cenabre said Evelyn Chang was recovered around 3:55 p.m. Friday at Sitio Karija Anil in Liban village outside Talipao town on Jolo Island.

Captain Ryan Lacuesta, civil military operations officer of the 2nd Marine Brigade, said the victim was "released from captivity." It was not immediately clear if ransom was paid for her freedom.

"As an operating unit, we are not part of the negotiations...but we applied pressure on them," he said, referring to the Abu Sayyaf.

Cenabre said Saturday that kidnappers handed over Chang to the Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu, which is near Malaysia.

The military official said Chang underwent medical checkup and debriefing and "she is okay."

Chang's husband was killed during the November 15 kidnapping at Pulao, Pulong-pulong in Sampurna in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah.

Early this month, the Abu Sayyaf freed Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani after more than a year in jungle captivity.

Sulu is a known bailiwick area of the Abu Sayyaf group. In 2000, Abu Sayyaf men seized dozens of hostages, most of them foreigners, from the Sipadan diving resort in Malaysia. The victims were brought to Sulu where they were released after payment of ransom. (AP/VR/Sunnex)

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