JOLO, SULU, Philippines – Samal Island hostages held by the terrorist organization Abu Sayyaf have once again plead to their governments to assist them in being released from their captors.
A video released this past Wednesday show Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipina Maritess Flor, pleading for the lives. The Abu Sayyaf group are still demanding a 600 million peso ransom to spare the lives of the two hostages.
Abu Raami, the Abu Sayyaf Group spokesperson said “We will upload a new video soon for our new ultimatum. No ransom, another beheading.”
Raami also exclaimed that his group of bandits were being swarmed by the military – the Inquirer noted that Raami was most likely unaware the President Benigno Aquino was in Sulu for a meeting with his military officers leading the assault operation against the Abu Sayyaf.
The Abu Sayyaf beheaded Canadian Robert Hall after his ransom demands fell short – John Ridsdel, also a Canadian national, was beheaded on April 25th after his ransom demands went unanswered.
President Aquino said he had pondered placing the regions of Sulu under martial law to assist the military in its actions to stop the terrorist organization. In an earlier interview, Aquino noted that the possibility of putting martial law in place was discusses three weeks prior to the beheading of Robert Hall.
In a press conference after meeting with his top-level advisors, police and the military at camp Teodulfo Bautista, Aquino said “Kidnapping is a very complex problem … I understand the difficulties.”
This past week Abu Raami told the Inquirer that the beheading of Robert Hall was meant to humiliate the tough-talking incoming President Rodrigo Duterte. Maritess Flor pleaded both help from President Aquino in her video speech, as well as to Duterte to help them.
Duterte has told reports that “Nothing of this nature will happen again,” while speaking to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.