Asia - Pacific

Philippines: Foreign hostages plead for lives in video

Thin, bearded and handcuffed men appeal to governments for help securing release, saying if kidnapper's demands are not met they will be killed

10.03.2016
Philippines: Foreign hostages plead for lives in video

Zamboanga

By Hader Glang

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines

 Three foreigners suspected of being kidnapped by a Daesh-linked group in the Philippines south nearly six months ago have pleaded for their lives in footage uploaded to the Internet.

A video on the Facebook page of an "Abu Muhammad" on Thursday showed Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad shirtless and surrounded by armed men.

Hall identifies their captors as the Abu Sayyaf.

The three thin, bearded and handcuffed men appeal to their governments for help securing their release, saying that if their kidnapper's demands are not met they will be killed.

"To the Canadian prime minister and to the Canadian people in the world, please do as needed to meet their demands within one month or they will kill me, they will execute us," Ridsel -- a Canadian mining consultant -- pleads as a long haired man holds what appears to be a machete to his neck.

The video is the second to surface since the trio were kidnapped from a resort on Samal Island in Davao del Norte in September with Filipina Marites Flor.

In the first video, the kidnappers demanded P1 billion pesos ($21,500) for each of the three foreigners.

"The Canadian government has got to get us out of here fast," Sekkingstad adds in Thursday's video, saying that they are being held hostage on Sulu Island -- an Abu Sayyaf stronghold in the country’s south.

"This is the last message to families, friends and authorities... follow the negotiations and try to meet their demands or we're all dead," he adds.

Asked by Anadolu Agency to comment on the latest video, Brig-Gen. Restituto Padilla, Sulu Joint Task Force commander, declined saying he was still to see it full.

The Philippines government has repeatedly maintained a no negotiation or ransom policy with such groups.

The Abu Sayyaf -- which has reportedly pledged allegiance to Daesh -- is also holding a Dutch man kidnapped more than three years ago in Tawi-Tawi and a former Italian priest seized last year in Zamboanga del Norte.

Since 1991, the group -- armed with mostly improvised explosive devices, mortars and automatic rifles -- has carried out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortions in a self-determined fight for an independent Islamic province in the Philippines.

It is notorious for beheading victims after ransoms have failed to be paid for their release.

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