Abus behead teenage captive
Abu Sayyaf bandits beheaded an 18-year-old male captive in Indanan, Sulu province, on Tuesday after they failed to get ransom from the boy’s family, the military confirmed yesterday.
In a report to Armed Forces of the Philippines headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said the head of Patrick James Almodovar was found inside a plastic bag that was dumped by three motorcycle-riding men at Kilometer 2 in Barangay Kajatian, Indanan, around 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The report said local police recovered the bag and put the head through forensic examination.
Almodovar was kidnapped by the Ajang-Ajang faction of the Abu Sayyaf in Barangay Asturias in Jolo, Sulu, on July 16.
Citing intelligence information, Maj. Filemon Tan, spokesperson for the Westmincom, said Almodovar was beheaded in Barangay Buanza about 3 p.m. on Tuesday, after the bandits failed to receive the ransom they had demanded from the boy’s family.
Tan did not say how much the Abu Sayyaf had demanded, but the family said the bandits wanted P1 million.
The military condemned the “barbaric murder perpetrated by this terror group,” the Westmincom said in a statement.
“The beheading of an innocent man done by the [Abu Sayyaf] is an absolute affront to the peace-loving Moros in the Philippines,” it said.
The victim’s mother, Aurora Almodovar, urged President Duterte to punish her son’s killers.
“They deserve the same punishment. President [Duterte], we ask you to finish them all,” Aurora, a court stenographer, said in an interview with the Inquirer yesterday.
She said she had talked with her son by phone before the bandits killed him. “My son pleaded with us to do everything to save him,” she said.
She said the bandits had demanded P1 million, but all the family could manage was P100,000, borrowed from friends and relatives.
She said she told her son to plead with his captors to reduce the amount, but apparently the bandits refused.
A niece of Aurora, who declined to be identified, said the family was praying the rosary when the Abu Sayyaf called to say they had beheaded Almodovar. Four hours later, his head was found in Kajatian.
“No one helped us, but now everyone is talking about my son,” Aurora said.
The Abu Sayyaf, a brutal group blamed for bombings, extortions, kidnappings and beheadings in the South, are believed to be holding at least 16 more captives, including foreigners.
The President has ordered the military to destroy the Abu Sayyaf.
The military said at least 8,000 soldiers were scouring the jungles of Sulu and Basilan to destroy the bandits. With a report from Julie S. Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao
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