A German hostage of the Abu Sayyaf has appealed to authorities to heed his captors' P30-million ransom demand to prevent them from executing him later this month.
"The pirates, they are giving me a last chance, that they get P30 million," an emotional Jurgen Kantner, 70, said in a video that was posted on social media. He said his execution has been set for February 26 at 3 p.m.
The video showed the gray-haired and bearded Kantner, who was abducted off Sabah in November last year, surrounded by men armed with high-powered firearms and bladed weapons. His wife, who was abducted with him, was later found dead.
"If the money is not in the hands oft the pirates at this time, they will behead me," Kantner said.
But despite Kantner's appeal, the military said the government is maintaining its policy against negotiating with terrorist groups and giving in to ransom demands.
"We do not negotiate with terrorists. Hindi tayo nagbabayad ng ransom sa terorista," said Col. Edgard Arevalo, chief of the Armed Forces' public affairs office.
Arevalo said they are still validating the authenticity of the video.
He also said the government is exerting all efforts to rescue the German national "especially that we now have a continuing operation against the Abu Sayyaf group."
"Nakikita naman natin na ang ating operation has been yielding good outcomes so we are still positive na we will be able to rescue him," Arevalo said as he discouraged other parties from paying ransom to the Abu Sayyaf.
"We believe that payment of ransom continues to embolden them, continues to capacitate them, and they can even buy the loyalty of the community," he said.
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