Freed Norwegian hostage grateful to President Duterte after release by Abu Sayaff

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The Norwegian national who was held hostage by Abu Sayaff for almost a year expressed gratitude to President Duterte following his release.

In a statement, Peace Process Jesus Dureza said the first words Kjartan Sekkingstad said when they spoke over the phone following his release were: “Thank you to President Duterte.”

Sekkingstad was released by his captors at around 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Dureza said the Norwegian's release was "capped by months of quiet, patient but determined efforts with the assistance of all sectors"

Sekkingstad was supposed to be presented to the media but the event was cancelled due to inclement weather.

The Norwegian is now staying overnight at the place of MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari in Barangay Kagay who volunteered to host his stay due to heavy rains and nightfall.

Sekkingstad was abducted by armed men from a resort in Samal Island on September 2015, along with Canadian John Ridsdel, Robert Hall who were both beheaded and Filipina, Marites Flor, who was released last June.

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