Monday, May 18, 2009

Sayyaf militants behead hostage in Southern Philippines

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 18, 2009) – A farm owner kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militants in Zamboanga City was beheaded after his family failed to pay ransom, police said Monday.

Police said the severed head of Doroteo Gonzales was recovered late Sunday in Mangalot village in Akbar town in Basilan province, several nautical miles south of Zamboanga City.

Gonzales, 61, was snatched from his house April 25 in the village of Buenavista and brought to Basilan by his captors. His body was not found, police said.

“We have not found his body. Police in Akbar town are still searching for the body,” Chief Inspector Rolando Democrito told the Mindanao Examiner by phone from Basilan, adding, the Abu Sayyaf was behind the killing.

Gonzales’ captors had previously demanded P25 million ransom and warned his family that they will kill the hostage if ransom is not paid.

Suspected Abu Sayyaf also kidnapped three government teachers Quizon Freires, 28; Janette Delos Reyes, 29; and Rafael Mayonado, 24.

They were on a motorboat returning to Zamboanga from a working break when gunmen intercepted them at sea brought them to nearby Basilan.

The Abu Sayyaf demanded P6 million for their safe release and also threatened to killed them if ransom is not paid. The hostages’ families said the government is not helping enough to secure the release of the three teachers.

Late last year, Abu Sayyaf gunmen also kidnapped a hospital nurse and a nursing student in Zamboanga City and brought them to Basilan and were ransomed off by their families several weeks later.

Police said the Abu Sayyaf is also holding a lending firm collector, Leah Patris, seized near Basilan’s Maluso town and a Sri Lankan national, Umar Jaleel, a member of the international peace advocate group called Nonviolent Peaceforce, both were kidnapped in February.

The Abu Sayyaf is a small band of militants blamed for the country's worst terrorist attacks and is still holding an Italian Red Cross worker Eugenio Vagni who was seized in January in Sulu province. (Mindanao Examiner)

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