Defense chief vows: ‘Animals’ will pay for German’s beheading
Calling members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) “animals,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday vowed to make the terrorists pay for the beheading of German hostage Jurgen Gustav Kantner in Indanan, Sulu, for nonpayment of the P30-million ransom.
Lorenzana said he was deeply saddened by what hap pened to Kantner at the hands of the terrorists whose name, he said, no longer deserved to be mentioned.
“What we can assure them and the whole world is that we are going after these animals with the full force of the law,” Lorenzana said.
“Make no mistake. They will feel the wrath of the entire Filipino nation through the might of its armed forces,” he added.
While the AFP has confirmed the beheading based on its own “reliable sources,” Kantner’s body, however, has yet to be found.
Lorenzana described the beheading as the most heinous of crimes against humanity by a group which has made terrorism their business.
“We extend our most heartfelt sympathies to the family and loved ones of Mr. Kantner. We cannot even begin to imagine the anguish and grief they are now through,” he said.
Arsenio Andolong, chief of the public affairs service of the Department of National Defense, said since the ASG was on the move, it would be problematic on their part to dispose of Kantner’s remains at the moment.
Andolong said both the Philippine and the German governments were firm on the no-ransom policy and did not deal with terrorists.
He said that as of last count, there were 31 hostages—12 Vietnamese, seven Indonesians, six Filipinos, five Malaysians, and one Dutch—in the hands of the ASG.
Andolong said that there were many factors affecting the operations against the terrorists.
“As far as the secretary of national defense is concerned, he is sad and angry at the same time for what happened and I think he is taking this very personally,” he said.
He said there were already movements on the ground being made by the AFP, including a reshuffle of ground commanders, in Mindanao to better address the ASG menace.
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