Ex-Abu Sayyaf captive arrives in Manila


Posted at Sep 19 2016 09:19 AM

MANILA - A Norwegian former hostage arrived in Manila on Monday, a day after he walked free from a year-long captivity in the hands of Abu Sayyaf extremists in Sulu.

"I'm very happy," said a gaunt Kjartan Sekkingstad, who landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at around 1:20 a.m.

Accompanying Sekkingstad was Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Erik Forner.

The former hostage answered several questions in Norwegian. Staff of the Norwegian Embassy, however, barred journalists from interviewing him in English.

Sekkingstad met with President Duterte on Sunday night, a day after he was freed by Abu Sayyaf bandits in Patikul, Sulu.

WATCH: Duterte meets freed Abu Sayyaf captive

He is set to meet his friends at the Norwegian Embassy in Taguig today.

Sekkingstad, then aged 56, was abducted in September 2015 from the high-end Philippine tourist resort which he managed and was taken to Jolo by the Abu Sayyaf.

Two Canadian resort guests captured with him, John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, were later beheaded by the group after a ransom demand of about 300 million pesos ($6.5 million) was not met. Their Filipina companion, Maritess Flor, was released last June.

Ex-hostage tells of terror as friends beheaded in PH

Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuarui assisted in negotiations for the release of Sekkingstad, as well as three Indonesian nationals who were freed early Sunday.

-- With a report from Hajji Kaamiño, DZMM