‘We have failed’: Duterte apologizes over beheading of German hostage
President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday apologized to the government of Germany and expressed sympathies to its citizens after the beheading of German national Jurgen Gustav Kantner by the Abu Sayyaf.
“I am very sorry that that a national of your country has been beheaded. I sympathize with the family, I commiserate with the German people. We tried. There’s a massive operation going on,” Duterte said in an interview with reporters in Malacañang.
“I would like to say something to the family and to the government. We really tried our best. The military operation has been going on for some time already but we have failed. That has to be admitted. There’s nothing wrong with admitting a failure,” he added.
The Abu Sayyaf earlier threatened to kill the 70-year-old Kantner on the afternoon of Feb. 26 if they would not be paid a ransom of P30 million. Kantner was kidnapped in November last year while his yacht was cruising in waters off Sulu. His companion Sabine Merz was killed by the bandits.
But Duterte noted that it’s a matter of policy “that we don’t surrender to the demands of paying ransom” as it will just encourage the bandits to commit more crimes.
“I would like to assure everybody that for as long as there is violence, the Republic of the Philippines will continue its military operations… I have been pleading with the nation to try to consider federalism. If we don’t, it will tear Midnanao apart,” the President added. JE
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