Dureza: Security forces verifying reports about German beheading
The Philippine government is validating reports that German national Jurgen Kantner was beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf Group after deadline to pay ransom ended Sunday afternoon, an official said.
“Despite efforts exerted by groups and the security forces, I have received reports about the alleged beheading of a German kidnap victim in Sulu Sunday afternoon,” Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said.
As of 8:30pm, he said Colonel Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Sulu Task Force commander, told him by phone that validation efforts of the reported beheading was still ongoing.
On February 14, a video circulated on Facebook with Kantner, wearing an orange shirt and guarded by three men carrying long firearms while one was holding a large blade. The Abu Sayyaf was demanding ransom of P30 million for his safe release.
Kantner and his companion, Sabine Merz, were on their yacht when they encountered the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu in November 2016. Merz was found dead inside the yacht.
While the government is still verifying reports on German beheading, Dureza said the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other security forces are maintaining their “search and rescue posture” until all kidnap victims are freed.
Prior to the reported beheading of Kantner, the Abu Sayyaf bandits were holding 27 persons, 21 of whom were foreigners. Last year, they beheaded three foreigners they abducted in Samal but freed the Filipina. Celerina Monte/DMS