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Did Aquino authorize payment of ransom for release of German hostages?

German nationals Stefan Viktor Okonek (center) and Henrike Dielen (right) rest at  a military base in Zamboanga City early Saturday hours after their release from Abu Sayyaf captivity on Friday night. AP FILE PHOTO

President Benigno Aquino III on Monday insisted that no ransom—at least from his office—was paid for the release of the two Germans held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf.

Posted: October 20th, 2014 in Latest Global Nation Stories | Read More »

Aquino happy Germans released; Palace won’t confirm payment of ransom

In this photo released by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, kidnapped German nationals Stefan Okonek, left, and female companion Henrike Dielen, center, rest inside the Western Mindanao Command in Zamboanga city in southern Philippines, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, after they were freed from the hands of the Muslim extremist group the Abu Sayyaf. Okonek and Dielen, who had been kidnapped and held for six months in the southern Philippines were released Friday by the militant group just hours after it had threatened to behead one of them if no ransom payment was made, the Philippine defense chief said. (AP Photo/Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command)

President Benigno Aquino was happy to receive the news that German nationals Viktor Stefan Okonek and Henrite Dielen have been released by their captors but Malacañang Saturday said it could not confirm reports that ransom was paid in exchange for their freedom—and their lives.

Posted: October 18th, 2014 in Featured Gallery,Features,Latest Global Nation Stories,Philippines,Photos & Videos | Read More »

2 German captives freed in Sulu

By ,
German hostages Viktor Stefan Okonek and Henrite Dieter

The Abu Sayyaf group said Friday night it has released the two German captives after receiving P250 million ransom.

Posted: October 17th, 2014 in Latest Global Nation Stories | Read More »

German’s execution postponed after delivery of some money

This photo provided by the Abu Sayyaf
shows German scientist Viktor Stefan Okonek, 71, with an assault
rifle pointed at his head at the terrorist group’s hideout somewhere
in Sulu province.

The Abu Sayyaf has postponed the execution of German hostage Viktor Stefan Okonek after receiving part of the ransom money it had demanded, an emissary said Friday.

Posted: October 17th, 2014 in Latest Global Nation Stories | Read More »

Malaysia calls for SE Asian cooperation on IS threat

Hishammuddin Hussein. AP photo

Malaysia’s defense minister has labelled efforts by a US-led coalition to push back the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria “ineffective”, and called for regional cooperation to prevent jihadists gaining a foothold in Southeast Asia.

Posted: October 17th, 2014 in Latest Global Nation Stories | Read More »