MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday condemned “to the highest extremes” the latest Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) video threatening to behead the three remaining Samal Island hostages if their ransom demands are not met soon.
“We condemn them to the highest extremes and your Armed Forces will continue to work to secure the safety of the hostages who still remain in the hands of these bandits,” said AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla.
A video circulating in the Internet shows Canadian Robert Hall, girlfriend Marites Flor, and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, flanked by masked ASG members, begging the Canadian and Philippine governments to comply with the bandits demand.
After the victims’ appeal, an ASG representative, speaking in very good English, threatened to behead the three if their ransom demands are not met.
The brigands are demanding a Php300 million from each of the remaining captives.
Last April 25, Canadian John Ridsdel was beheaded after Canadian and Philippine authorities ignored the ASG ransom deadline.
Ridsdel’s head and torso were recovered separately by military authorities a few days later in Jolo, Sulu.
All four were kidnapped by the bandits at a post Samal Island resort in Davao Oriental last Sept. 21.
“We have not stopped, we have (no) let-up on ongoing operations and will not cease on doing this until we are able to make these personalities or these bandits and criminals accountable for their actions,” Padilla said.
“That is all I can say on the matter and as a matter of request again that I have mentioned a while ago, please help not to dignify the activities of these bandits and criminals,” he stressed.