Marites Flor was held hostage in the Philippines alongside Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall. She survived. They didn’t. This is her story.
…Flor had known how dangerous the Islamic State-affiliated militant group was. But up until then, the militants had lied to them constantly about whether they were going home or not. By Christmas. Before the New Year. Every date they set came and went, so she didn’t believe they would follow through with Ridsdel’s execution.
…Now, months after her own release, Flor gave her first wide-ranging interview to VICE News over Skype, shedding light on the harrowing ordeal she and the hostages who did not make it endured. She revealed new details of just how close the Philippine military was to the Abu Sayyaf camp — at one point, the gunfire exchange between the militants and the army was so close, Flor could smell the smoke — and a $1 million ransom offer by the Ridsdel family that fell short of the captors demands.
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