EDITORIAL| No place for terrorism

IN November last year, 70-year-old Jurgen Kantner and his partner Sabine Merz were taken by the Abu Sayyaf Group off the coast of Sabah, sailing on board their 50-footer yacht. Sabine reportedly died in the hands of her captors. Kantner spent three months in captivity as government officials tried to seek his release. Initial reports claimed that Kantner was beheaded last Sunday in Indanan, Sulu after the deadline to pay his ransom of P30 million lapsed.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla did not confirm or deny Kantner’s fate last Sunday saying that the Western Mindanao Command has not received information on the beaheading. Yesterday afternoon, Sec. Jesus Dureza, presidential assistant on the peace process, released a statement that the report on the beheading was not yet conclusive but later in the day, he issued a statement confirming Kantner’s sad fate.

We take the liberty of printing Sec. Dureza’s statement on the beheading of Kantner:

“We grieve as we strongly condemn the barbaric beheading of yet another kidnap victim , German Juergen Gustav Kantner in Sulu.

“Up to the last moment, many sectors , including the Armed Forces of the Philippines exhausted all efforts to save his life. We all tried our best. But to no avail.

“Terrorism has no place in a country like ours and we as a people must confront violent extremism every time it rears its ugly head.

“Another precious life had been needlessly lost. There must be a stop to this killing of the innocent and the helpless

“I was always in close contact with German authorities in our efforts.

“We condole with his family, friends and loved ones.”

Foreign and local hostages remain in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf Group held in the island of Sulu. Their fates continue to be uncertain in the hands of the ASG.

Posted in Opinion