MANILA: Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants in the Philippines have freed a town mayor after seven months of captivity in a southern jungle where he sketched and smoked to ease his ordeal.
Regional army spokesman Capt. Alberto Caber says Jeffrey Lim was freed unharmed before dawn Tuesday near Zamboanga city and has been turned over to his family. Gunmen disguised as policemen kidnapped Lim while he inspected a bus terminal April 2 in his southern town of Salug in Zamboanga del Norte province.
Caber says the kidnappers were not immediately identified but authorities believe they were gunmen belonging to the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf, which is notorious for kidnappings.
Jesus Lim, the mayor’s father, told The Associated Press his son, an engineer, sketched trees and learned to smoke during his captivity.