- President met freed Norwegian hostage Kjartan Sekkingstad, promised to give him justice
- He said Sekkingstad’s release fulfilled PH’s promise to Norway
- Sekkingstad thanked Duterte and everyone else who was instrumental in his release
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte met freed Norwegian hostage Kjartan Sekkingstad a day after he was finally released by the Abu Sayyaf group.
In a press conference on Sunday evening, the president said Sekkingstad’s release fulfilled his earlier promise to Norway to have their national come home alive.
“The best thing that happened to us is really the release of Kjartan because we were able to complete our promise to Norway, which is giving us good offices for a space to talk vis-a-vis with the Communist Party of the Philippines. It has provided good offices to several countries for so many conflicts. I salute the country for being peaceful,” GMA News quoted him as saying.
Duterte also promised Sekkingstad he would bring the Abu Sayyaf to justice for him.
“There are simply too many gangsters and terrorists. Simply too many battles. I assure you, when the time comes, I will inform you that we have been able to catch up with them. Nothing else. I will say this now: Your travails in life are over. Until such time that we get… You want raw justice, then we will give it. If that is what you want,” he said.
For his part, Sekkingstad thanked Duterte, presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari for being instrumental in his release.
“I like to express a heartfelt thank you to President Duterte, Secretary Duterte, the chairman Nur Misuari and his finest men who released me yesterday afternoon, got me out of captivity,” he said. “Also, the Norwegian embassy, the Norwegian team, my Filipino family, and my family in Norway, and everybody who has helped make this release possible. I am very happy to be alive and free. It’s a beautiful feeling. Thank you all.”