No Ransom Money for Abu Sayyaf, That's Fake!- AFP Chief

           The Abu Sayyaf group claimed that the government had been paid them ransom money in exchange of freedom of their German kidnap victim named Stefan Viktor Okonek and Henrike Dielen last Oct. 17. To prove their claim, Abu Sayyaf spokesman Muamar Askali released a video clip in Facebook showing bundles of money. He said that it was worth P250 million pesos.

            AFP Chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang denied the claim of the Abu Sayyaf. According to him, it is not true that they paid ransom money for the freedom of German nationals. He can’t remember that the military gave money to them. For him, the money was just a counterfeit or fake, but he already ordered to conduct an investigation to clear the assumption of the public. He emphasized that the bandits just want to mislead the perception of the public.

            The military is considering Abu Sayyaf as a menace in the country especially in the areas of Western Mindanao such as Basilan, Tawi-tawi, Sulu and Zamboanga. Catapang said that the Air Force and the Navy, Coast Guard and the PNP already combined their force to stop the evil activities of the group. They estimated that the Abu Sayyaf has 400 members and they are still recruiting to strengthen their forces. But the AFP Chief is very confident they the military could break their operation. He believed that they can change the image of Western Mindanao, from being a kindnaping area, it will be turned as an area of peace and prosperity.