P50-M ransom paid to Abu Sayyaf for Norwegian hostage – Duterte
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Abu Sayyaf group has received a P50-million ransom payment for its Norwegian hostage, Kjartan Sekkingstad, but the group has not yet released him as it reportedly wants to get even "more" money, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday, August 25.
"They kept on postponing it [the release] because of the huge sum of money. Millions. 'Yung Norwegian, bayad na 'yon (Ransom has been paid for the Norwegian)," Duterte told reporters on Thursday morning.
Duterte would not respond directly to questions on who paid ransom for Sekkingstad and joked, "Hindi ko alam saang banko (I don't know which bank)."
Sekkingstad is the only remaining Abu Sayyaf captive from the group of 4 abducted in Samal Island in Davao del Norte in September 2015.
Only one person in that group had been set free, so far – Filipina Marites Flor. Her boyfriend, Robert Hall, and fellow Canadian John Ridsdel were beheaded after the deadline for their ransom payment lapsed in June and April, respectively. The Canadian government is observing a no-ransom policy.
On June 25, Norwegian Ambassador Erik Forner went to see Duterte during the release of kidnap victim Flor. The two leaders talked about negotiating for the release of Sekkingstad.
On Wednesday Duterte sent the 69th Army battalion to Jolo, Sulu, as part of his vow to "crush" the Abu Sayyaf, after the group beheaded its teenage captive that day. – Rappler.com
We keep you informed because you matter
We tell you the stories that matter. We ask, we probe, we explain.
But as we strive to do all this and speak truth to power, we face constant threats to our independence.
Help us make a difference through free and fearless journalism. With your help, you enable us to keep providing you with our brand of compelling and investigative work.
Joining Rappler PLUS allows us to build communities of action with you. PLUS members will receive our editorial newsletters and industry reports, get to join exclusive online conversations with our award-winning journalists, and be part of our monthly events.
Make your move now. Join Rappler PLUS.