Talks ongoing for safe release of Norwegian captive

PRESIDENTIAL Adviser on Peace Process Jimmy Dureza said that efforts are still ongoing to talk with the Abu Sayyaf Group for the safe release of the remaining hostage seized on the Island Garden City of Samal last year.

Dureza in a brief text message told Sun.Star Davao that no positive results so far on their efforts for the peaceful rescue of Norwegian captive Kjartan Sekkingstand.

“Efforts (are still) on going," Dureza said in a text message Thursday, July 7.

As of Tuesday, it was reported that Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Ricardo Visaya said they received no reports that the Norwegian was beheaded.

Monday, it was reported by Philippine Daily Inquirer that the Abu Sayyaf has temporarily stopped the execution of its hostage after Dureza called to negotiate.

Abu Sayyaf spokesperson Abu Rami reportedly said Sunday night saying the group will behead Sekkingstand anytime on Monday if Dureza does not start talking about paying ransom.

The Abu Sayyaf has been demanding P300 million in exchange for Sekkingstand’s freedom.

Sekkingstand is one the four victims taken from the Holiday Oceanview Resort in the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte in September 21 last year.

Two Canadians James Ridsdel and Robert Hall were beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf in April 25 and June 13.

Marites Flor was released by the Abu Sayyaf after negotiations with Dureza last June 24.

Flor was presented to the President Rodrigo Duterte during the turn-over of the command in the Davao City Police Office.

Duterte in turn promised that they are putting effort to rescue the remaining captive.

During interview after the turn-over, Dureza said that he will negotiate for the release of the remaining victim.
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