The two foreigners – Canadian Robert Hall and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad – taken hostage by the Abu Sayyaf from Samal Island in 2015 begged incoming President Rodrigo Duterte to rescue them from their captives. The hostages are scheduled to be beheaded on June 13.
The terrorist group uploaded a video showing the two foreign captives asking the presumptive President-elect to save them from death, as their respective government seems to have forsaken them already. Marites Flor – a Filipino citizen – was also taken by the bandits along with the foreigners.
“I’m going to address my remarks to you (Duterte). I’d appreciate it if you can do what you can to get us out of here,” Hall said in the video. Hall added that the sooner the release, the better, and that the three of them were already “three-quarters dead.”
One of the foreigners taken by the Abu Sayyaf last year off Samal Island was Canadian John Ridsdel, who was killed by the terror group in April. The Abu Sayyaf is demanding P300 million each in exchange of the foreign captives.
“We will issue a statement (later), as we prefer to work on this. Hopefully, we will get results soon once a decisive engagement has been made in the area,” Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla told the media.
Colonel Noel Detoyato, chief of the AFP public affairs office, added that the AFP already has several operations dedicated to rescuing the hostages from the Abu Sayyaf group. He also assured the public that the AFP will not stop their efforts until they have rescued the victims and the captors have been brought to justice.
The colonel also explained that the AFP will try to rescue the hostages without giving the captors the ransom money they are demanding. “We will endeavor to make this kidnapping business unprofitable to them (suspects),” Detoyato said.