Palace still hoping to rescue ASG hostages as deadline looms
With the execution of three Abu Sayyaf hostages set at 3 p.m. today (June 13, 2016), Malacañang stressed that it would not pay ransom but focus on rescuing the victims.
“Government has not wavered in its determination to deal with the kidnap-for-ransom problem,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a text message.
“Our focused military and law enforcement operations continue without let up with the objective of rescuing the hostages and holding their captors accountable for all their crimes,” he said.
The Mindanao-based bandit group Abu Sayyaf has set the deadline for the ransom of two foreign nationals and a Filipino woman. who were abducted from Samal Island last year. One of their companions, Canadian John Ridsdel, was beheaded last April 25.
READ: Ranson deadline today
Coloma’s statement echoed that of the Armed Forces of the Philippines which said the military would not stop until the victims were rescued.
The Abu Sayyaf wants P300 million for each of Canadian Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipina Marites Flor, who is Hall’s girlfriend.
The hostages were seen in an earlier video asking President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to help them.
The Philippine government and that of Canada observe a no-ransom policy.
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