MANILA — In wake of unconfirmed reports claiming that Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists have beheaded their German hostage Juergen Kantner last Feb. 26, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has sought the help of the local government units (LGUs) in Sulu and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in locating the body of the victim.
“We have sought the help of the local government and the MNLG in finding and locating the body of kidnap victim Kantner should it be proven true that he was executed by the bandits,” said AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo in press briefing Monday.
Arevalo, however, stressed they are still to confirm reports that the ASG have carried out its threat to execute their captive German victim should their ransom demand of PHP30 million are not paid before 3 p.m. of Feb. 26.
And until such evidence is obtained showing that the bandits did execute Kantner, the military is presuming that the German is still alive.
“But what we can tell you is that your AFP is still continuing with its search-and-rescue posture and focused military operations to safely recover the remaining ASG hostages and degrade the bandit group’s capability to conduct hostile actions against government forces,” Arevalo stressed.
“The AFP remains committed (to neutralizing the ASG threat), there will be no let up, we will continue until we were able to degrade their capability to fight (the) government and end their terror threat,” he added.
Kantner was kidnapped by the ASG bandits while his yacht “Rockall” was cruising off Sulu waters last November.
His companion, 56-year-old Sabine Mertz, was shot and killed by the bandits and allegedly raped. Priam Nepomuceno/PNA-northboundasia.com