No talks with Abu Sayyaf for German hostage | Global News

No talks with Abu Sayyaf for German hostage

/ 05:09 AM November 24, 2016

SUMISIP, BASILAN—Various factions of the Abu Sayyaf group have demanded ransom money for German captive Juegen Kantner, who has been held captive since early this month, making it difficult for the military to pinpoint his exact location,  a ranking military official said on Wednesday.

Kantner and his wife, Sabine Merz, were sailing in Malaysian waters when kidnapped on Nov. 5. Merz was killed after she allegedly tried to shoot the attackers.

Lt. Gen. Mayoralgo de la Cruz, the commander of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, said the military has not pinpointed which Abu Sayyaf faction was really holding the German captive.


“There’s a lot of them asking for ransom. There was Alhabshi Misaya (who is under Radulan Sahiron) and there is Muammar Askali, who is also asking for ransom,” De la Cruz said.


Askali, a self-proclaimed Abu Sayyaf spokesperson, was the latest Abu Sayyaf figure who had asked for ransom for Kantner. Askali said they wanted P500 million—not P5 million as earlier reported—for the foreigner’s freedom.

“We are demanding P500 million in ransom, not P5 million, and we will issue an ultimatum soon,” Askali said, without directly saying what the bandit group planned to do with Kantner if no ransom was received.

It was also Askali who announced the beheading of Canadian captives Robert Hall and John Ridsdel earlier this year after Canada refused to fork over ransom for the two victims.


But De la Cruz said the Abu Sayyaf might not get what it wanted for Kantner, describing the German captive as some sort of an “unwanted” person by the German government.

“I think the Abu Sayyaf erred in kidnapping the victim,” he said, adding that Kantner still reportedly owes the German government serious money when it paid Somali pirates so he and Merz could be released from captivity.


The two were snatched by Somali pirates as they sailed the Gulf of Aden in 2008. A German newspaper later reported the German government paid the Somalis some $600,000 for the release of the couple.

“They borrowed money from the German government. Soon after they were secured, the German government sought to be paid,” De la Cruz said.

Apart from the German, the Abu Sayyaf is currently holding hostage a Dutch national, several Malaysians, two Indonesians and four Filipinos.

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The military recently lost four soldiers, while 17 others were wounded during an operation in Sulu, where it had sent thousands of troops this year to crush the group. —JULIE ALIPALA

TAGS: Abu Sayyaf, German hostage, Kidnapping, Military, Sabine Merz

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