ZAMBOANGA, Philippines -- Hans Kunzli, a Swiss tourist kidnapped by Moslem bandits 81 days ago, has been released to a local government official, military authorities said today.
Kunzli, the authorities said, was expected to be turned over to the military on Thursday.
Col. Edgardo Cabanlig, commander of a marine brigade based on Jolo Island, said he had received a letter from government negotiator Hadji Faisal Sali saying Kunzli was freed on Jolo, 600 miles south of Manila, on Oct. 6.
Kunzli, 45, a businessman from the canton of Zurich, and a Filipina companion were kidnapped July 19 on a resort island south of the port city of Zamboanga by Moslem bandits led by Sali Saparri, a former rebel of the Moro National Liberation Front.
The hostages were taken to the municipality of Luuk, Jolo, south of Zamboanga in the Sulu archipelago.
The woman, Adelaida Gamboa, was released on July 25 to help raise a $100,000 ransom for the release of Kunzli. It was unclear if any ransom had been paid.
Kunzli who was said to have undergone surgery for an ulcer last November had been reported in ill health. The Swiss government in August announced it had flown medical supplies to the Philippines for delivery to the hostage.