Abu Sayyaf: “No ransom, another beheading”

  • The Abu Sayyaf warned of another beheading
  • The group said it will release a video for the new ultimatum
  • The Norwegian hostage, Kjartan Sekkingstad, asked the Philippine and Norwegian government to work swiftly so they could get out alive

The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) warned of another beheading should it fail to get the P600 million ransom they are demanding.

“We will upload a new video soon for our new ultimatum. No ransom, another beheading,” Abu Sayyaf spokesperson Abu Raami told the Inquirer by phone.

On Monday, June 13, Canadian Robert Hall was beheaded and his severed head dumped in front of a Catholic Church in Jolo Island after the ASG’s demand was not met.

Hall and three others – Hall’s Filipina live-in partner Maritess Flor, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, Canadian John Ridsdel, were snatched by the dreaded group in a resort in Samal Island in Davao del Norte in September last year. Last April 25, Ridsdel was beheaded.

Kjartan Sekkingstad, who also talked with the Inquirer via phone, said the Philippine and Norwegian governments must work swiftly so he and Maritess Flor could get out alive.

“All I can say is the demand has to be met; otherwise, we will be executed,” the Norwegian said.

Maritess Flor also voiced her appeal for help. She said she hasn’t lost hope that President-elect Rodrigo Duterte could free her from the Abus.

President Benigno Aquino III flew to Jolo, Sulu, the Abu Sayyaf’s bailiwick, and met with the military; discussing how to refine the operation against the ASG in order to successfully rescue the hostages.

Aquino, who earlier apologized to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the beheadings of two Canadians, also coordinated with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg to discuss how to save Sekkingstad. Solberg said Norway also has a no-ransom policy just like Canada and the Philippines, but said private individuals, over which she has no control, are negotiating for Sekkingstad’s safe release.