ZAMBOANGA City, Philippines – (3rd UPDATE) The Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) confirmed that a Swiss national, who was kidnapped on April 4, was rescued from the coastal village of Labuan, before dawn Wednesday.
Senior Superintendent Francisco Cristobal of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations-Western Mindanao said 72-year-old Charlie Rieth was rescued from the kidnappers at around 3 a.m..
Cristobal said the kidnappers came from Sibuco town, Zamboanga del Norte and were planning to transfer the kidnap victim to another location when intercepted by the joint police and military teams.
Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat, head of the crisis management committee, said Rieth was in good condition but lost weight. He also grew a beard.
Lobregat added that the wound on Rieth's arm, which was shown on the video sent by the kidnappers, has healed.
The kidnappers demanded a P20 million ransom for Rieth's release through the video.
Cristobal said Rieth was held by more or less 3 kidnappers, but they have yet to be identified.
Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino, chief of the AFP's Western Mindanao Command, said Rieth, as of posting, had been brought to the regional military headquarters at Camp General Navarro in Zamboanga City for medical treatment and debriefing.
Rieth was taken from his resthouse at Sitio Parkampo, Barangay Patalon, west of Zamboanga City, on April 4, Easter Sunday. – Reports from Noel Alamar, radio dzMM, Agence France-Presse and Queenie Casimiro, Jewel Reyes and Leila Vicente, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga