To add insult to injury, the family of beheaded Malaysian hostage have discovered they paid over five million pesos ransom for a body that is not their loved one.
Officials believed the terrorists had buried his body soon after beheading him in accordance with Muslim Law.
The head of Bernard Then was in the custody of the Western Mindanao Command – but a source has said that the body that was handed over to the family is not Bernard’s.
The mess began when Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) from Sandakan, Malaysia where Bernard was from, offered to help retrieve his remains in Sulu.
The MNLF made contact with the local villagers in Sulu who in turn asked for 500,000 Ringgit (approximately 5.5 million pesos) – calling the ransom demand “mobilization money.”
The “mobilization money” was demanded due to the dangerous regions where Bernard’s body was buried – a heavy Abu Sayyaf inundated area.
After the monetary transaction was completed, the MNLF returned to Sabah with what was supposed to be the body of Bernard Then.
Upon Bernard’s wife seeing the body, she immediately declared that it was not her husband.
Enraged, the MNLF intermediary alleged blurted out: “This is another example you cannot trust the Abu Sayyaf bandits; they are only after money, money and more money.”
Sources say that the MNLF did not coordinate with the military in Jolo, which already has orders to turn over Bernard Then’s body and head to the Malaysian government.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razzak condemned the beheading of Then as a “savage and barbaric act” and called for the Philippine government to give justice to his countryman.
A week after the APEC Summit, President Aquino ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police to intensify operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group.
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