THE female Filipino worker who was freed recently by alleged Abu Sayyaf abductors is now in the custody of the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday.

Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur took over the care of Marcy Dayawan, a Filipina receptionist at the Singamata Resorts off Semporna in Sabah, who was abducted with Chinese tourist Gao Hua Yun on April 2, the department said in a statement.

Dayawan was turned over to Embassy officials Sunday evening and is expected to return to the Philippines shortly, it added.

During the hand-over, Malaysian police authorities told Embassy officials that they did not consider her as an accomplice to the kidnapping plot and had cleared her of speculations.

Quoting Dayawan, the DFA said that she was given the choice to remain in the Philippines after her rescue, but she decided to return to Malaysia partly to clear her name.

"We are elated that Ms. Dayawan and Ms. Gao are now safe and are about to be reunited with their families. In this vein, we are grateful for the efforts undertaken by Philippine and Malaysian authorities in securing their release," the Embassy said.

At the same time, the Embassy expressed deep concern over the spate of abductions in Sabah allegedly perpetrated by criminal groups in Mindanao.

"We wish that these groups desist from conducting such criminal activities, as many of the affected people in Mindanao and Sabah share a common heritage and have close affinity and blood ties. Carrying out or tolerating these criminal actions is a disservice to one’s country, fellowmen and kin," the Embassy said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced last Friday the rescue of the two victims in Sulu province through his official Twitter account.

He said the rescue was made possible through the cooperation of the Malaysian and Philippine authorities. He also denied that ransom was paid to the abductors, allegedly members of the extremist Abu Sayyaf Group. (SDR/Sunnex)