Italy's foreign ministry says a former missionary who was abducted last year in the Philippines has been found.

The ministry said Friday that Rolando Del Torchio, an Italian, is in the hands of Philippine authorities, who located him on Sulu island.

Del Torchio was kidnapped in October in the south of the country, where he has lived for years despite a history of violent attacks on fellow Italian priests. Police then said men armed with rifles dragged him from his restaurant into a van.

Long-running security problems have plagued the region.

The ministry thanked Manila for its "excellent cooperation and commitment, which allowed the release" of the Italian, but did not elaborate. Del Torchio left the local Catholic mission several years ago.