Norway envoy thanks Duterte for efforts to free seized national
DAVAO CITY—The Norwegian ambassador to the Philippines has thanked President-elect Rodrigo Duterte for negotiating the release of the Norwegian kidnap victim of the Abu Sayyaf.
“We are very thankful for what you are doing,” Erik Forner, Norwegian Ambassador, told Duterte on Friday.
Duterte and Forner met at the Presidential Guest House at the Malacañang of the South here hours after Filipina kidnap victim Marites Flor was released by the Abu Sayyaf.
Flor, along with Canadians Robert Hall and John Ridsdel and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, was kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf on Samal Island in September last year.
The Abu Sayyaf beheaded Ridsdel and Hall, Flor’s boyfriend, after their ransom demands were not met.
“He really needs help. I am so sorry Kjartan is not here,” Flor told the Norwegian ambassador during their meeting.
But Duterte said they were able to negotiate the release of Sekkingstad.
“We were able to negotiate but apparently ‘yung kinidnap na Norwegian hindi pa raw naka-cross because of the rough seas I was told (the kidnapped Norwegian hasn’t yet crossed the sea because of the rough seas, I was told). I don’t know if it is true. Hopefully, maawa ang Allah (Allah will have mercy), he will be released in a short time,” he said.
In his speech at the turnover of command at the Davao City Police on Friday, Duterte said the series of kidnappings of the Abu Sayyaf Group has tarnished the image of the Philippines and this must stop.
He said their would be “a day of reckoning” for the bandit group, saying he would confront them soon.CDG
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