Deaf girl kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf narrates her ordeal

Although this kidnapping incident reportedly led by the infamous Filipino bandit group, the Abu Sayyaf of the Al Qaeda network happened more than two years ago, this is as timely as today’s headlines. What’s significant in this news is that a deaf person was the victim.

Nineteen year old deaf Grace Gonzales, daughter of the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) President Eligardo Gonzales, was held captive for almost two months until her release on Sept. 22, 2006. The kidnapping took place just outside the family’s residence in Aurora Village, Barangay Guiwan, Isabela City, Basilan Island in July 30.

She was released 53 days later after her father paid an undetermined amount to her abductors to cover “board and lodging” expenses. Until now, the identities of the kidnapers remain unknown, although reports said that members of the Abu Sayyaf bandit group were behind the abduction.

Basilan Island became famous in 2001 when American Christian missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham were kidnapped by the same group. During the eventual rescue attempt by the Philippine Army on June 7, 2002, Martin was killed by three gunshots in the chest while Gracia was wounded in her right thigh but later survived.

Here is the story in Filipino Sign Language of Grace’s personal ordeal in the hands of her abductors:

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  1. Karen Mayes

    I am so glad that her ordeal ended… with her being alive!


  2. Can you contact ProjectReadon ( to see if they can add captions? This is significant enough that it ought to be captioned.

  3. Hello Jamie!

    Thank you for commenting on my site. I already contacted about it. I await their response soon. Thanks again. 🙂

  4. the abu sayyaf is also responsible for 2 raids off Malaysian waters in Sipadan and Pandanan islands in Sabah in 2000.

  1. 1 Yay! First 20000 Visits! « Filipino Deaf from the Eyes of a Hearing Person

    […] followed by the preceding day [Saturday] with 332. This is due mainly to my video log post about deaf girl’s ordeal while being kidnapped. I guess many people got interested about it and sympathized with Grace Gonzales. Someone even […]

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