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(On another Abu Sayyaf beheading threat) Military insists no ransom policy


The Armed Forces of the Philippines has stood firm on government's "no ransom policy" even as the Abu Sayyaf group gave an ultimatum to behead its German captive if a P30 million ransom is not paid soon.
On Tuesday, Feb. 14, a video appeared on the Internet with Jurgen Kantner pleading for help to the German federal government to pay the ransom soon as he will  be executed by his Abu Sayyaf captors this coming Feb. 26 at 3:00 in the afternoon
The video also shows Kantner in orange shirt kneeling with four masked gunmen standing in the background. One of them holding a sharp "sanggot" (reap hook or sickle) read the group's threat and ransom demand.
A state-run news agency quoted Colonel Edgard Arevalo, AFP public affairs office chief, as saying that they're still validating the video.
He, however, said the military discourages payment of ransom and they will do their best to rescue Kantner.
"Payment of the ransom will further embolden the terrorists and give them more funds to buy the loyalty of the communities they are hiding in."
He also said the government does not pay ransom or negotiate with terrorists. "As matter of national policy, the military discourages any group from paying ransom for the hostages," he reiterated.
The German sailor and his 56-year-old woman, Sabine Mertz, were attacked on their yacht off the coast of southern Tawi-Tawi province last November. The woman was shot and killed while Kantner taken away to Sulu.
Mertz naked remains were found later on the abandoned yacht off Laparan island in Pangutaran.
Abu Sayyaf has kidnapped dozens of foreign tourists in recent years. In October 2014, the group released a German couple snatched off Palwan after half a year in captivity.
The Daesh-linked militants declared that they had received more than five million dollars of ransom for the couple as they presented bundles of money on the social media.
In September of last year, a Norwegian was also released after one year of hostage detention. A Malaysian and two Canadian hostages were beheaded. Hader Glang

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