No to ransom

February 22, 2019
Salvador Panelo
Salvador Panelo

WHILE saying that government is doing its best to secure the release of three foreign hostages being held by the terrorist Abu Sayyaf group, Malacañang yesterday said it stands firm on its “no ransom policy.”

“To give in to the demands of terrorists and other lawless groups would embolden them to engage in more abductions that would allow them to conduct extremist and other criminal activities as they could buy more arms and weapons,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Panelo made the remark after the terrorist group posted a video online threatening to execute a Malaysian and two Indonesian hostages held captive in Mindanao if they are not ransomed.

According to reports, the two hostages seen in the video with their faces covered are believed to be Indonesians Heri Ardiansyah, 19, and Hariadin, 45.

The two were kidnapped together with Malaysian hostage Jari Abdulla, 24, from their Sandakan-based fishing trawler in eastern Sabah waters close to Tawi Tawi on December 5, The Straits Times reported.

Panelo added that the Abu Sayyaf “continues to be on the run as a result of the order of the President to the military to crush them.”

“Our security forces are hunting them in the wild forests of Mindanao to blow them to kingdom come,” he added.