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Freed Philippine Hostage Returns Home From Iraq


A Philippine accountant has returned home after almost eight months in captivity in Iraq.

An emotional Roberto Tarongoy arrived in the Philippine capital, Manila, Thursday - a day after insurgents released him.

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, center, shakes hands with released Filipino hostage Robert Tarongoy, left, as his wife Ivy Grace, right, looks on during their meeting at the Malacanang palace
Wearing dark sunglasses which he said were to protect his eyes after months of being blindfolded and surrounded by members of a "crisis team" who brokered his release, Mr. Tarongoy thanked Philippine President Gloria Arroyo for keeping up efforts to win his freedom.

Mr. Tarongoy, who worked for a Saudi firm, was abducted in early November along with an American colleague, Roy Hallums, whose fate remains unknown.

Last year, the Philippines pulled out its small military contingent from Iraq, after a Philippine truck driver was kidnapped. The truck driver was later released.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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