Abu Sayyaf terrorists have beheaded a Filipino captive, the military has revealed.
Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, military commander on Jolo island, said the ship’s captain — one of four fishermen abducted in December — was executed on Thursday.
Noel Besconde was kidnapped by the Islamic State-affiliated group while fishing in the Celebes Sea.
Brig. Gen. Sobejana said it was likely the abductors beheaded Besconde because he had become seriously ill.
“The reason why he was beheaded is that he was delaying their movement,” he said. “Abu Sayyaf are highly-mobile and we are pursuing them.
“Now, we are looking hard for his cadaver so that we could return him to his family and he could be given a decent burial,” Sobejana said.
The FB Ramona 2 was found empty with its VHF Radio and GPS equipment missing on the morning of December 19. Besconde and this three crewmen, residents of Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur, were also missing.
There are no reports yet as to the fate of Besconde’s companions — Reyjim Rocabo, a marine diesel mechanic, and crew members Roy Ramos and Roel Liones.
The group had demanded a three million peso ransom for Besconde but the government holds fast by its policy of not paying ransoms.
Brig. Gen. Sobejana said Abu Sayyaf was still holding Besconde’s crew, along with more than a dozen foreign nationals in their jungle bases on Jolo.
The militant group last year beheaded Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall. In February German yachtsman Jurgen Kantner suffered the same fate when a $600,000 ransom demand was not paid.
Earlier this week, the army said that an Abu Sayyaf leader involved in these killings was among those killed by Philippine troops in the Bohol clashes.