- A video purportedly released by the Abu Sayyaf Group shows the 4 hostages they snatched in Samal Island
- The group demanded P1 billion each in exchange for the hostages’ freedom
- An Army official said the Philippine government maintains a no-ransom policy
Suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), one of the Islamic separatist groups operating in southern Philippines, released a new video that showed the 4 hostages, three foreigners and a Filipina, the group snatched in Samal Island in Davao Del Norte last September and demanded ransom for their freedom.
The video was a follow-up to their first video released sometime last month where they demanded that the military halt the offensives against them.
In the latest video released online by U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group, the ASG demanded a ransom of P1 billion each for the four hostages, the largest ransom the militant group have demanded for their captives in years, according to an article written by Jim Gomez that was published by Philstar on November 4, 2015.
Canadian John Ridsdel spoke before the camera, while one of the armed men surrounding them held a machete to his neck, and appealed to the Canadian government to heed the group’s demand as their lives are in great danger.
“We’re being ransomed for each for P1 billion. I appeal to the Canadian Prime Minister and the people of Canada, please pay this ransom as soon as possible, or our lives are in great danger,” he said.
Robert Hall, another Canadian, echoed Ridsdel’s plea.
“I’m being held hostage by Abu Sayyaf for P1 billion. These people are serious and very treacherous. Take them seriously. Help us, get us out of here,” he said.
At the end of the video, one of the armed masked men warned the hostages will be k****d if their demand for ransom is not met, but no deadline was given.
Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, commander of the Joint Task Group Sulu,
said the Philippine government maintains a no-ransom policy. He said his troops won’t stop in their bid to rescue the hostages in the safest way possible.
Here’s the video showing two of the hostages asking their government to heed the demands of their captors: