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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 June, 2005, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Filipino hostage released in Iraq
This undated file photo released by the family shows Robert 'Bobby" Tarongoy
Mr Tarongoy was working in Baghdad as an accountant

A Filipino has been released in Iraq after nearly eight months in captivity.

Roberto Tarongoy was taken hostage on 1 November from his Baghdad office. He worked as an accountant for a Saudi firm providing catering to Iraq's army.

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo said Mr Tarongoy was now with Philippines diplomats and would be flying home at an unspecified date.

Mrs Arroyo withdrew the Philippines' troops from Iraq in July 2004, after another Filipino was taken hostage.

That hostage, lorry driver Angelo de la Cruz, was subsequently released, but Mrs Arroyo was criticised by the US and other allies.

'Working overtime'

Mr Tarongoy was taken hostage along with American Roy Hallums, a Nepalese and three Iraqis.

Mr Hallums is still being held, but the others have been freed.

"Finally, Robert Tarongoy is going home after a long time," Mrs Arroyo told reporters.

"He is now in the hands of our Iraq crisis team. They're arranging how Robert Tarongoy can go home," she said.

She said Filipino officials had worked overtime to secure his freedom.

She said Mr Tarongoy's wife, Ivy, was "overjoyed and deeply grateful for this good news".

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