Abu Sayyaf reaches out to Duterte administration for negotiation

• The Abu Sayyaf Group wants to talk to the government about the Norwegian hostage
• The group’s spokesman, Abu Rami, said they have opened the line for the government to negotiate with them
• The ASG wants to directly talk with Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza

The Abu Sayyaf Group has contacted the camp of President Rodrigo Duterte to talk about the Norwegian hostage Kjartan Sekkingstad.

Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza said a source from Zamboanga City told him that the Abu Sayyaf Group’s spokesman Abu Rami wanted to directly talk to him about the remaining Norwegian hostage, who was snatched almost ten months ago in a resort in Davao del Norte along with two Canadians and a Filipina.

“I got word from someone in Zamboanga City this morning that one Abu Rami allegedly from ASG wanted to talk to me directly about the remaining Norwegian hostage,” Dureza said in a statement.

As per Joseph Tristan Roxas’ article for GMA News Online, Dureza said he is willing to talk to the Abu Sayyaf provided that it would not be about ransom.

Dureza said he had relayed through emissaries that he is open to talk with the bandits in order to secure the safe release of the Norwegian and other hostages. The ASG has recently abducted seven Indonesian sailors.

“I have relayed to them my openness to talk to them in the effort to save the life of the Norwegian. We will try to work for the release of all if possible. But we will not entertain talks on ransom,” President Duterte’s peace adviser said.

Last week, Abu Rami said in a radio interview that they have opened the line for the Duterte administration to negotiate with them.

Rami warned that they will kill the Norwegian if they do not hear from the government until Saturday this week, July 9.

Dureza said he is waiting for Abu Rami to contact him through a secure line he provided.

“I gave a secure phone number for him to contact me. I am still waiting,” he said.