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Published: Saturday December 21, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday December 21, 2013 MYT 9:10:02 AM

Semporna kidnap: Praise from Taiwan over Chang's release

PETALING JAYA: Taiwan’s legislator Tsai Cheng-yuan has praised rescuers of kidnap victim Chang An Wei, saying that this is the “fastest release of a victim in Philippines in recent years”.

Tsai said he had spoken to Chang numerous times during her captivity.

“I heard people shouting ‘Move! Move!’ while talking to her, indicating that she was being moved from one hideout to another during her captivity,” he was quoted in several Taiwanese newspapers.

Free at last: Chang’s 36-day ordeal ended after she was located on Jolo island.

Thanking the officials and public who had lent a hand to help Chang return home safely, Tsai had announced the rescue on his Facebook yesterday evening.

“Thank you God, Chang has been released. (She is) now receiving treatment at the hospital,” he had written at around 6.40pm.

Later, he posted a picture of Chang and wrote: “Thank you (for) the wishes from the Tai­­wan people. Chang will return home safely.”

Tsai told Taiwan’s Apple Daily that Chang’s brother, Chang Da Gong, had personally called him to thank him for her release.

Some six hours earlier before the rescue, Tsai had uploaded another picture of Chang on Facebook, showing her side profile. The photograph was apparently sent to him by the abductors to prove that she was still alive.

“Chang’s living condition has improved a little and she was allowed to change into clean clothes that the family has sent to her. She is feeling not too well mentally due to the frequent change of hideouts,” he had written then.

Taiwan media had also flashed the news of Chang’s rescue on their websites.

On its website, Apple Daily had speculated that the authorities might have made a major breakthrough in rescuing Chang following the arrest of two Filipinos suspected of being insiders to the incident.

With the arrest, the bargaining power of the authorities, comprising police and officials from Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines, increased and led to Chang’s release after both parties failed to reach a compromise on the ransom.

The daily reported on its website that the kidnappers had demanded a ransom of 50mil pesos (RM3.7mil). However, the deal did not go through after Taiwan cut the amount to 50,000 pesos (RM3,700).

Related stories:

Kidnappers free Taiwanese

IGP credits special task force for victim's rescue

Tags / Keywords: Courts & Crime, pom pom

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