18 April 2017

News Story: Palace condemns killing of Abu Sayyaf hostage

By Kristian Javier 

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 3:16 p.m.)  — Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Monday condemned the Abu Sayyaf's "senseless and cold-blooded" killing of abducted sailor Noel Besconde.

"We strongly condemn this senseless and cold-blooded murder committed during the Holy Week," Abella said in a statement on Monday.

Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, chief of Joint Task Force Sulu, said on Sunday that Besconde, one of the crew members of F/B Ramona 2 that the terrorist group captured in the Celebes Sea in December, was killed in Patikul, Sulu on April 13.

Sobejana said that they received information on the same day but did not confirm it until the AFP secured a copy of the video of the execution.

Sobejana said that they are now doing their best to locate Besconde's body and bring it back to the family.

Abella expressed condolences to Besconde's family and said that local authorities and security forces are "exhausting all means" to find his body.

Read the full story at PhilStar