• President-elect Duterte who negotiated for the release of Marites Flor from the Abu Sayyaf, is also working to secure the Norwegian hostage’s freedom
  • Norwegian envoy Erik Forner thanked Duterte for his continued efforts to help the Norwegian
  • Marites Flor told Forner about Sekkingstad’s hope that the Norwegian government will to its best to help him

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, who successfully negotiated with the Abu Sayyaf for the release of Marites Flor, revealed that he also negotiated for the freedom of Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad.

Duterte hoped that Sekkingstad would be released soon.

During a police ceremony in Davao City where Marites Flor was presented to him hours after her release, Duterte said the release of Sekkingstad is now being worked out.

“We were able to negotiate but apparently yung kinidnap na Norwegian hindi pa raw naka-cross [the kidnapped Norwegian was unable to cross] because of the rough seas I was told. I don’t know if it is true. Hopefully, maawa ang Allah [Allah will show mercy], he will be released in a short time,” GMA News’ Virgil Lopez quoted the incoming president as saying.

Moments after Marites Flor was presented to Duterte, the Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines, Erik Forner, met with the incoming president to discuss the situation of Kjartan Sekkingstad, who remains in captivity.

Forner thanked Duterte for his continued efforts in securing the release of Sekkingstad.

“We are very thankful for what you are doing,” Forner told Duterte in a video released by Radio TV Malacañang (RTVM) to media on Friday evening.

Marites Flor, who was present during the meeting between Forner and Duterte, told the Norwegian envoy about Sekkingstad’s hope that the Norwegian government will do its best to secure his release.

“He really needs help…. I am so sorry Kjartan is not here,” Flor told Forner.

Førner, in turn, told Flor: “But you should be happy now.”

Meanwhile, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza, who was tasked to fetch Marites Flor from Jolo and to present her to Duterte was asked by media why the freed hostage was not presented to President Benigno Aquino III.

“Don’t ask me that. Ask that of President Aquino’s officials,” Dureza replied.