“To give in to the demands of terrorists and other lawless groups would embolden them to engage in more kidnappings that would allow them to conduct extremist and other criminal activities as they could buy more arms and weapons,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
Presidential Communications Photo
No-ransom policy stands as Abu Sayyaf threatens to behead hostages
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - February 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang reiterated yesterday the government’s no- ransom policy amid the threat of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf to behead a Malaysian and two Indonesian hostages if ransom is not paid.

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

Panelo downplayed the threat as he maintained the government would not pay ransom in exchange for the release of the hostages held by Abu Sayyaf militants in Sulu.

He assured the public that government forces are doing everthing to rescue the hostages.

“We are doing our best to secure the release of the hostages, but we stand firm on our no ransom policy,” Panelo said.

The Abu Sayyaf has released a video clip threatening to behead the foreign hostages.

Allowed to speak by their captors, the Malaysian and two Indonesians appealed to their respective governments for help.

Five foreigners and three Filipinos are believed to be in the captivity of the bandits in the island province of Sulu.

Panelo said the government remains steadfast in the campaign against terror groups in Mindanao, which is still under martial law. –  With Jaime Laude

ABU SAYYAF KIDNAPPING SALVADOR PANELO
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