Kidnapped Zamboangueña nurse Precious Feliciano was finally released Friday evening by her Abu Sayyaf captors in the Municipality of Al Barka in Basilan, officials said on Saturday.
Ms. Feliciano was first reported missing by her family last July 7. A high school classmate of the nurse allegedly went to Feliciano's house and invited her to high school reunion.
Instead of a reunion, Feliciano was brought to Manicaan in Zamboanga City, where a motorboat had been waiting. She was reportedly taken to Basilan and turned over to the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers.
Basilan Vice Governor Alrasheed Sakalahul said Ms. Feliciano was freed at Bohe Kassa, Barangay Magcawa in Al-Barka at around 9:45 p.m. after 124 days in captivity.
Precious' parents joined Sakalahul in fetching the 24-year old nurse who personally gave P200,000 in cash to the kidnappers as payment for "board and lodging."
"We were instructed by the kidnappers to proceed in that area, the same place, where we were able to get SP (Esperencita Hupida)," he told reporters.
The vice governor said he was not authorized to bring security to get the nurse. "I was only with my driver, of course my wife and the father and mother of the hostage," he added.
During an interview at Majini Pier in Naval Forces South arranged by Navy authorities, Precious did not answer some important questions by the media.
She, however, said her captors treated her well, provided her foods and did not hurt her. "Ok lang ta dale sila comigo kome. Ok el de ila treatment comigo alya. Hindi sila ta ase sinte duele comigo."
Mr. Feliciano, Precious father, said they're very glad now that Precious is already free from the kidnappers. He confirmed the reported P1.5 million ransom, which they gave to the kidnappers.
"Ya dale tambien kami board and lodging of P200,000. Previously ya dale ya man kami P1.5 million ransom," he told reporters.
He also admitted that her daughter's kidnapping greatly affected their family. He did not elaborate, but asked the government to eradicate the kidnappings.
Ms. Feliciano's release came a week after Esperencita Hupida, a program director of the Nagdilaab Foundation Inc. (NFI), was released by her captors last October 30, Thursday.
Hupida was abducted along with Millet Mendoza, another humanitarian worker, by Abu Sayyaf bandits one and a half months ago in Tipo-Tipo.
Mendoza's fate remains uncertain and also that of another kidnap victim, Joed Anthony Pilangga, and the Abu Sayyaf was reportedly demanding P7 million for Mendoza and P20 million for Pilangga.
"In the case of Mendoza, we leave that to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. For the other remaining hostage, we don't have any information whether he's in Basilan or not," Sakalahul said.
He declined to identify the negotiator of the MILF who is taking the lead in the negotiation for the release of the remaining hostages in Basilan.
"I give way (the negotiations for Mendoza's release) to the MILF. Ayaw ko rin naman ma jeopardize iyong kanilang ginagawa," the vice governor said.