Incoming Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza negotiated for Floor's release on behalf of President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte, who three days earlier warned the bandit group to "release hostages."

Ms. Flor was flown to Davao City to meet with President-elect Duterte, where she was presented to the public.

"I just want to thank those who helped, sir Jess Dureza and newly-elected president Duterte," Ms. Flor said in Filipino.

Mr. Duterte said it would take a while before the problem with the bandit group can be solved, adding that its kidnap for ransom activities give the country a "very bad" image. "There will be a time when I will have to confront the Abu Sayyaf. It is not yet forth coming but the kidnappings have to stop," he said.

Speaking to businessmen in Davao City three days earlier, Mr. Duterte asked the Abu Sayyaf to "surrender unconditionally, release your prisoners, your hostages."

Local police chief Wilfredo Cayat said Ms. Flor was dropped off outside the house of local politician Abdusakur Tan on Jolo, the main island in Sulu.

Mr. Dureza was among the first people Ms. Flor met with after she was released. "She told me her captors roused her at dawn and ordered her to pack up, telling her: 'You are going home'," Dureza said.

Mr. Dureza later accompanied Flor on a private jet to the southern city of Davao for a meeting with Mr. Duterte.

It has been nine months since Ms. Flor was held captive by the Abu Sayyaf, together with Mr. Hall, Norwegian national Kjartan Sekkingstad, and John Ridsdel another Canadian who was beheaded in April.

The four were seized in September aboard yachts at a tourist resort on Samal island, about 500 kilometers to the west of Sulu.

It was not clear whether ransom was paid for Ms. Flor's release.

Flor's ordeal, however, ended on the same day Indonesian authorities announced that seven Indonesian sailors have been kidnapped at sea off the southern Philippines where Abu Sayyaf is known to operate.

Philippine authorities have yet to verify the report. If confirmed, it would be the third kidnapping of Indonesian sailors this year.

Fourteen other Indonesian hostages and four Malaysians have been freed since the beginning of the year.

Source: Business World Online