Kidnapped school principal freed in Basilan

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/04 April) – Suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits freed Thursday afternoon the school official they seized Monday in Sumisip, Basilan province, an official announced Friday.

Mayor Gulam Hataman of Sumisip, Basilan said Benita Latonio (not Latonia as earlier reported) was freed around 5 p.m. in Sitio Mompol, Barangay Libug.

Latonio, 60, was released through the concerted efforts of the crisis management committee headed by Hataman.

Latonio is the school principal of Manggal Elementary School in Sumisip.

Hataman said Latonio was immediately taken to the Basilan General Hospital in Isabela City, the provincial capital, for medical treatment.

The mayor said Latonio was very weak and could hardly walk at the time she was released.

The victim has been reunited with her family.

Suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits seized Latonio last Monday in Mompol.

She was aboard a passenger jeep together with other teachers on the way to Isabela from her school when the kidnappers stopped the vehicle and seized her. (MindaNews)