Kidnapped teacher freed

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Friday, April 4, 2014

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Updated) -- The Abu Sayyaf bandits released Thursday the school official they recently abducted in a nearby province of Basilan, a town official said.

Benita Latonio (not Latonia as earlier reported) was released around 5 p.m. Thursday at Sitio Mompol in the village of Libug, Sumisip, Basilan.

Latonio, 60, the principal of Manggal Elementary School in Sumisip, was released through the efforts of the Crisis Management Committee (CMC) led by Sumisip Mayor Gulam Hataman.

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Latonio was aboard a passenger jeep together with other teachers travelling to Isabela City from Manggal Elementary School last Monday when the Abu Sayyaf bandits blocked the vehicle at Sitio Mompol in Barangay Libug. [Read the related story here.]

The bandits seized Latonio and brought her to the hinterlands of Sumisip town.

After her release on Thursday, Latonio was brought to the Basilan General Hospital in Isabela City, the capital of Basilan province, for medical treatment, said Hataman.

He added that Latonio was very weak and could hardly walk when freed.

He said the school official has reunited with her family. (Sunnex)

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