Slain Malaysian hostage’s DNA sent to PH to assist in identification
KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian authorities have submitted a DNA sample of slain Malaysian hostage Bernard Then Ted Fen to their counterparts in the Philippines to match the identity of the headless body that was found on Jolo Island.
The body which was recovered late Monday on Jolo Island has been sent to Zamboanga City for identification.
“We hope our Filipino counterparts there will use the DNA we provided for identification purposes,” said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar at the police’s Go Green Day Program on Wednesday.
On Monday, Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command spokesman Major Filemon Tan Jr. said soldiers from the Philippines’ 501st Infantry Brigade recovered the body at Sitio Lungon-lungon at Parang on Jolo island at about 11 p.m.
He said the body was found buried in a shallow grave on a hilly jungle and was in an advanced state of decomposition.
Major Filemon said the soldiers were earlier patrolling the area for gunmen when they chanced upon what looked like a freshly-dug grave and decided to dig it up.
Southern Philippines anti-kidnapping activist Prof Octavio Dinampo said the body would undergo DNA testing to ascertain if it belonged to Then.
He said the body had been brought to a mortuary in Zamboanga City where a head, believed to be that of Bernard’s, was recovered shortly after his beheading by Abu Sayyaf captors.
Octavio said Abu Sayyaf gunmen leader Al Habsi Misaya had demanded a P10 million payment for information as to where Then’s body had been buried.
The demand was ignored by Philippines authorities.
Bernard was reportedly beheaded by his Abu Sayyaf captors at about 4 p.m. on Nov 11 and the Philippine military said it was due to a breakdown in negotiations over his release.
Malaysian negotiators, with the help of Filipino emissaries, had been working to secure the release of the 39-year-old engineer and Ocean King seafood restaurant manager Thien Nyuk Fun, 50, since their kidnapping from Sandakan on May 15.
Thien was released on Nov 8 after an alleged payment of about RM3 million (P32,979,796) was made.
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