ASG says ransom for German captives already reached them
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - October 17, 2014 - 6:05pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - The Abu Sayyaf ultimatum to execute their male German captive on Friday lapsed without any word from the militants, with one of its members revealing that the money believed to be the ransom had already reached them.

“What can you say, they have already delivered the money,” told Al Kataib, said to be an aid of Abu Sayyaf spokesman Abu Rami. 

Kataib, however, did not further elaborate if they will release the victim following the payment of the ransom. He said they are waiting for Rami to issue a statement.

The Abu Sayyaf group have earlier given until Friday 3 p.m. as ultimatum and extended it to 5 p.m. to execute their captive German Dr. Stefan Viktor Okonek if no one will make a last-minute negotiation.

Okonek, 74, and his wife Henrike Dielen, 55, were snatched from their yacht by the Abu Sayyaf last April while steaming near Palawan and brought captive in Sulu. 

Reports disclosed that a certain Rudger Konig, said to be a German facilitator, has flown to Sulu and negotiated for the release of the couple.

Police and military authorities have declined to confirm this, including the provincial government of Sulu.

The Abu Sayyaf also confirmed that they have been surrounded by the government troops up to the last minute of the ultimatum and warned to behead Okonek ahead of the ultimatum if the troops will move closer to their position, Rami during a midday Friday interview over local DxRZ Radio Mindanao Network.

A ground troop, who asked not to be named, confirmed that the group of the Abu Sayyaf militants holding the captives was just in their “line of sight.”

“The group was on our sight but there was no order to launch rescue operations yet,” the soldier disclosed.

Earlier, Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, commander of Western Mindanao Command, said they were just waiting for the decision of the Special Action Committee (SAC) that was convened by the Provincial Peace and Order Council. 

“The discussion is to focus to the areas where the Abu Sayyaf group was encamping and the areas where they are holding the hostages,” Guerrero said.

Guerrero said as of press time there has been no significant engagement.

“We will not hesitate on what to do,” Guerrero added when asked if they are ready to rescue the victims once given the signal by SAC.

ABU ABU RAMI ABU SAYYAF AL KATAIB DR. STEFAN VIKTOR OKONEK GUERRERO HENRIKE DIELEN OKONEK PROVINCIAL PEACE AND ORDER COUNCIL RADIO MINDANAO NETWORK
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