KIDAPAWAN CITY: The military confirmed Wednesday that two hostages were decapitated by the jihadists in the hinterland of Butig, Lanao del Sur on Monday.
The Marawi City-based Col. Manolo Samarita, deputy commander of the 103rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, told The Manila Times that the bodies of two hostages along with their heads were recovered on Tuesday.
The beheaded victims – Salvador Hanobas, alias “Tado,” and Makol Hanobas, alias “Macky,” – were abducted last April 4 along with four other sawmill workers, who were later released on Monday.
Julieto Hanobas, Alfredo Anoos, Gabriel Permites and Adones Mendez were freed after a series of negotiations between their captors and the local leaders, including commanders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which had signed a peace agreement with the government.
The captors, who had identified themselves as part of the Dawlah Islamiyah (Islamic State) in Lanao, had demanded for the release of their comrade – a certain 13-year-old Ayman, allegedly captured by authorities last February during clashes in Butig town.
Military and police officials insisted that no one was arrested or captured during or after their operation.
The captors had accused their victims of spying for the government. MOH SAADUDDIN