Filipino militants accused of decapitating tourists surrender


Manila, Philippines (AP) — Two long-awaited Abu Sayyaf militant commanders accused of decapitating two kidnapped Canadian tourists and Germans in the south of the Philippines have surrendered to authorities, officials said Friday. Said to.

Almujer Yadah and Bensito Quitino surrendered the assault rifle to military personnel in the town of Jolo in southern Sulu, said Maj. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio, Sulu’s military commander, and other security officials. Authorities did not provide details on when and how the surrender was arranged.

The two were briefly introduced at a press conference at Holo’s Army camp and later handed over to police.

Colonel Jaime Modika, chief of the Sul State Police Department, said he would face multiple murders and other criminal charges, including violations of the country’s anti-terrorism law. The militants have been accused of beheading the hostages after failing to obtain the large ransom they requested.

They were also involved in other ransom kidnappings and bomb attacks, Mojika said.

Canadian tourists Robert Hall and John Ridsdel, along with Norwegians and Filipinos, were abducted by Abu Sayyaf armed groups from a marina in southern Samal Island and taken to Sul’s jungle camp in September 2015. rice field.

Hall and Ridsdel were beheaded by militants months after the ransom payment deadline. A video released by the militants showed that the victims were brutally killed in front of a group-style black flag in the Islamic state. The Norwegian and Filipino hostages were finally released.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was frightened of the murder at the time and confirmed that Canada refused, “paying a ransom for a hostage to a terrorist organization would endanger the lives of more Canadians.” .. He said Canada, in cooperation with the Filipino government, “no matter how long it takes to track down those responsible for these vicious acts and bring them to justice.”

Other major suspects in the kidnapping and murder of Hall and Lizdel were previously killed in a clash with Filipino troops.

Mojika also said the two militants were involved in the decapitation of the German hostage Jürgen Gustav Kantner in 2017. Abu Sayyaf’s militants struck a gun to capture Kantner and killed a woman sailing with him from neighboring Malaysia’s Sabah province. The villagers later found a dead woman on a yacht with the German flag off the island of Laparan in Sulu.

The United States and the Philippines have named Abu Sayyaf a terrorist organization of kidnapping, decapitation, and bombing. A small but brutal group emerged in the early 1990s as a radical sect of decades of Islamic separatist rebellion, primarily in the southern Philippines, home of minority Islam in the Roman Catholic state. Did.

Abu Sayyaf has been significantly weakened by decades of military attacks, surrenders and combat, and the military is now estimated to have less than 200 armed combatants, a national security threat. Continues to be.