The Palace is verifying reports that a German kidnap victim had been beheaded by the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said Sunday night.
“Despite efforts exerted by groups and the security forces, I have received reports about the alleged beheading of a German kidnap victim in Sulu Sunday afternoon. Col. Cirilito Sobejana of the Joint Sulu Task Force commander informed me by phone that validation efforts of such report is still ongoing as of 8:30 pm, Sunday,” Dureza said in a statement.
In the meantime, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other security forces are maintaining their “search and rescue posture” until all kidnap victims are freed, he added.
The Abu Sayyaf was reported to have threatened to behead a German hostage unless their ransom demand of P30 million was met.
The Abu Sayyaf, which has professed support to the Islamic State, had at least 25 hostages as of January 24.
Brigadier General Restituto Padilla, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman, echoed Dureza’s statement and warned the public against believing unconfirmed reports.
“We are still on the process of authenticating and validating all these information you are receiving. Until sufficient proof is obtained that supports this information, our assumption remains that the subject kidnapped victim is alive and well,” Padilla said.
“Do not believe unvalidated information going around until proven otherwise,” Padilla added.