A Filipino-Chinese businessman has been freed a week after he was seized by Muslim militants on a southern Philippines island, a police report said Saturday.
Diong Hin Que, a trader, was freed by his captors late Friday near a public school in Indanan town on Jolo island, 1,000 kilometres south of Manila, the report said.
Que said he did not pay any ransom for his release and said his kidnapping was a case of mistaken identity. He did not give details about his ordeal or his abductors, dpa reported.
He was seized on January 30 by Abu Sayyaf rebels, who are believed to have links with the al-Qaeda terror network, while on his way home after closing his store at the public market in nearby Jolo town.
The Abu Sayyaf rebels are still holding several hostages in Jolo and the nearby province of Basilan, including three staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
ICRC staff Swiss Andreas Notter, Italian Eugenio Vagni and Filipino Mary Jean Lacaba were abducted on January 15 after visiting the provincial jail in Jolo.
Abu Sayyaf Commander Albader Parad said they seized the three ICRC workers to get the attention of the Philippine government to look into the plight of the Muslims on Jolo.
In a video broadcast by a local television station late Friday, Parad vowed to continue fighting for the rights of the country's Muslim minority.
The Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for some of the worst terrorist attacks in the Philippines.It is also notorious for high-profile kidnapping-for-ransom cases, including the abduction of 21 European tourists and Asian workers from a Malaysian resort island in 2000. The hostages were ransomed off for millions of dollars before they were freed months later.