Afen Ma, a 24-year-old Chinese tourist from Fujian, China, was kidnapped by a criminal gang in southern Philippines on Wednesday, last week. According to police, the kidnappers are known as Pentagon
, a gang notorious for its activities involving abductions of ethnic Chinese in southern Philippines, mainly on the island of Mindanao.
There was no ransom paid however, as rebels belonging to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front
(MILF) helped negotiate Ma's freedom without a single payment released.
According to North Cotabato Governor Jesus Sacdalan, the MILF rebels acting the part of the good samaritan were merely showing their 'sincerity to help'.
Ma was released at around 8 a.m. in the marshy grounds near Rajamudah village. She wasn't hurt except for some small bruises and mosquito bites that she sustained on her body.
The Pentagon gang is believed to be responsible for at least 50 kidnappings on the island of Mindanao so far, and is also blamed for the abduction of Italian priest Giuseppe Pierrantoni in the town of Dimatali, Zamboanga Del Sur on October 17, 2001 -- he was released after being held for 6 months.