Duterte slipped—Abu Sayyaf was paid ransom of P50M

MANILA, Philippines – In an apparent slip of the tongue, President Rodrigo Duterte revealed a secret—Abu Sayyaf was paid a ransom money of P50 million for the freedom of Norwegian hostage Kjartan Sekkingstad.

President Rodrigo Duterte reveals secret
President Rodrigo Duterte reveals secret. Photo Credit: eaglenews.ph
During the press conference in Davao City on Wednesday night, Duterte was asked if he is aware of the recent beheading of a kidnap victim in Sulu on Tuesday.

The question was referred to the kidnapping and beheading by the Ajang-Ajan faction of Abu Sayaff last July 16 of an 18-year-old who is said to be Patrick James Almodovar from Jolo, Sulu. Almodovar is a son to a court-stenographer.

Which Duterte answered, “If that’s the one, then I will accuse the Abu Sayyaf of acting in bad faith. They have been paid P50, 000 already.”

He then corrected the amount and said that ransom was paid in P50 million.

Apparently The Philippine Government is tied to a policy to not pay ransom money to kidnappers.

It is reported that Abu Sayyaf was extorting an amount of P300 million from each one of the foreigners they took from Samal Island, September of last year. Canadian hostages John Ridsdel and Robert Hall were beheaded last April and June, respectively. Marites Flor, a Filipina hostage was released from captivity last June 24.

Almodovar was said to be the first kidnapped and killed victim by the Abu Sayyaf under the Duterte administration.

--Mae Tuazon, The Summit Express

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