MALACAÑANG on Tuesday condemned the “senseless and coldblooded” killing of Filipino hostage Noel Besconde, who was beheaded by Abu Sayyaf bandits last April 13.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, in a statement, said Palace mourned the "untimely” death of Besconde, captain of FB Ramona 2.

“We express our sincerest condolences to the bereaved family of FB Ramona 2 captain Noel Besconde, who met untimely death in the hands of the kidnap-for-ransom group Abu Sayyaf,” Abella said.

“We strongly condemn this senseless and coldblooded murder committed during the Holy Week,” he added.

Besconde was abducted by the Abu Sayyaf bandits in December last year after they hijacked FB Ramona 2 in the Celebes Sea that borders the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Also seized by the bandit group were boat mechanic Reyjim Rocabo, and crewmen Roy Ramos and Roel Liones.

The presidential spokesman said local authorities and the security forces are exhausting all means to locate Besconde’s remains.

He added that the government troops continue to search for Abu Sayyaf and hold them accountable for their crimes.

Abella appealed to the public to remain alert, amid possible threats from the Abu Sayyaf group.

“We call on all citizens throughout the archipelago to remain vigilant, alert and watchful, and to cooperate with our security forces. Let us work against common criminals to make our communities safer and ensure a nation worthy of all Filipinos,” he said. (SunStar Philippines)