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Ransom not paid for Kantner - DND

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The Department of National Defense (DND) said there are no indication that ransom was paid at the last minute to stem the execution of German captive, Juergen Kantner, by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits last Feb. 26.

"Not to our knowledge, the German government and Philippine government understand each other that we have a firm no ransom policy as far as we are concerned," said DND public affairs office chief Arsenio Andolong in a briefing Thursday.

And this includes third party negotiators, he added.

Andolong said that as of last count, the ASG are holding 31 hostages and this can be broken down into 12 Vietnamese, six Filipinos, one Dutch, seven Indonesians and five Malaysians.

The ASG earlier said it will behead Kantner if their PHP30 million ransom are not paid before 3 p.m. of Feb. 26.

Kantner was kidnapped by the ASG bandits while his yacht "Rockall" was cruising off Sulu waters last November.

His companion, 56-year-old Sabine Mertz, was shot and killed by the bandits and allegedly raped.

And when asked about the possibility of recovering Kantner's remains, Andolong said it is very likely that the ASG are holding into them as they were forced into constantly retreating by pursuing military units.

Earlier, DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippines will go after the ASG with the full force of the law and the country's military might.

"We extend our most heartfelt sympathies to the family and loved ones of Mr. Kantner. We cannot even begin to imagine the anguish and grief they are now through. What we can assure them and the whole world is that we are going after these animals with the full force of the law make no mistake they will feel the wrath of the entire Filipino nation through the might of its Armed Forces," he said. (PNA)




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