Abu Sayyaf frees kidnapped businesswoman

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Nancy Gonato undergoing checkup at a hospital in Sulu. INQUIRER.net/Marine 2nd Brigade

MANILA, Philippines—An businesswoman reportedly seized by the Abu Sayyaf was released Thursday after nearly five months in captivity in Sulu, the military said.

Nancy Gonato, a lobster trader in Zamboanga City, was released at around 4:30 p.m. in Jolo, Colonel Jose Cenabre, Commander of the Marine 2nd Brigade, said in a statement.

No ransom money was paid for the release of Gonato, said Cenabre, adding that it was her relatives who negotiated with her abductors.

Last April 17, Gonato and her companion named Ronnie Sandagon, were at a lobster buying station in Taha Private Wharf in Baliwan Seaside in Zamboanga City when a group of gunmen, who pretended to be suppliers, arrived and forcibly seized them.

They were brought to Sulu on board two speed boats.

The kidnappers were led by Uztadz Yazzar Igasan, also known as Tuan Yah and Sibih.

After her release, Gonato was brought the hospital for check up and stress debriefing, Cenabre said.

Sandagon, meanwhile, remains in captivity.

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