MANILA, Philippines - A public school teacher kidnapped in Zamboanga City last November 13 can finally spend Christmas with her family.
Philippine Center on Transnational Crime (PCTC) Executive Director Felizardo Serapio Jr. said Flordeliza Ongchua was "safely released and recovered" by authorities at a public market in Jolo, Sulu at around 8:50 a.m. on Monday.
"We are pleased to report that Ms. Ongchua is safe, unharmed and now with her family in time for Christmas," Serapio said.
Ongchua was recovered by a team composed of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC), Philippine Center on Transnational Crime (PCTC), Naval Intelligence Security Group-Western Mindanao, and the Philippine National Police's Anti-Kidnapping Group and Special Action Force-Seaborne. Both the PAOCC and PCTC are chaired by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr.
The 48-year-old Ongchua, the head teacher of Lauban Elementary School, was abducted by some 13 men inside her house in Barangay Labuan at around 7 p.m. last November 13.
It is not certain if ransom was paid.
Police authorities believe that the kidnappers belong to the group of a certain Abdul Susukan of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). He is said to be the brother of the late Abu Sayyaf commander Mujib Susukan, who was killed in 2003.