Kidnapped tourist gets medication

KOTA KINABALU - Badly-needed medication for abducted Taiwanese tourist Chang An Wei has reached her as ransom negotiations are continuing with the kidnappers.

The 58-year-old woman, who was snatched by a group of armed men from Pom Pom Island Resort in Semporna on Nov 15 after they killed her husband Li Min Hsu, remains weak at an undisclosed location in the Philippines' Tawi Tawi chain of islands.

Taiwanese legislator Tsai Cheng Yuan said the kidnappers had allowed Chang to take her medication for various health problems, including diabetes.

"We know that she has received her medication and she is taking it. She is okay but she is weak," he said in an e-mail interview.

Tsai, who has been helping to secure Chang's release, said her family had made contact with the abductors but declined to comment further.

He, however, said the family was working through an intermediary but they were not sure if the person had the power to make final decisions to secure Chang's release.

Tsai also declined to say if any ransom demand was made.

Chang's brother Richard went to Manila a week ago to work out arrangements for his sister's release and to find ways to send medicine to her.

The gunmen are believed to be holding Chang in a remote area on an island in Tawi Tawi before getting to Jolo Island where the notorious Abu Sayaff group will take over the hostage, according to Tawi Tawi sources.

However, bad weather conditions and a heavy Philippine military presence around Jolo were hampering their efforts to leave Tawi Tawi, where other armed groups might attempt to kidnap Chang for themselves.