Kidnap Watch

Abus demand P30 M for German hostage

Kidnapped victim Jurgen Kantner breaks down as he pleads with his family and government for his life.

Abu Sayyaf bandits have threatened to execute their German hostage if the P30-million ransom is not paid by Feb. 26.

In a video released Feb. 14, the armed group presented 70-year-old German captive Jurgen Kantner at an undisclosed place, believed to be in either Sulu or Basilan.

Kantner and his partner Sabine Merz were sailing on their yacht Rockall off the coast of Sabah when the bandits accosted them in early November last year. The abandoned yacht was later recovered off Pangutaran Island in Sulu. Merz’s naked body was found on the yacht.

Last September 2015, the bandits executed two Canadian hostages, Robert Hall and John Ridsdel, after the victims’ families failed to pay the huge ransom. Ridsdel and Hall, along with Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipina Marites Flor, were taken from a resort in the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao City. Sekkingstad and Flor were released separately after payment of ransom.

Authorities said they will exert all efforts to rescue Kantner, and that rescue operations are continuing against the bandits and yielding positive results.

Also, as matter of national policy, the military discourages any group from paying ransom for the hostages. The military said that the Abu Sayyaf group is currently holding 27 local and foreign hostages in Sulu and Basilan.