ZAMBOANGA CITY, April 17, 2017 (PNA) — Members of the Abu Sayyaf beheaded the captain of a fishing boat on Maundy Thursday in Sulu province, the military confirmed on Sunday.
Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana Jr, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, identified the victim as Noel Besconde, the captain of F/B Ramona who was abducted along with three others in the Celebes Sea last December.
Besconde was reportedly sick, prompting the bandits to behead him because he was delaying their movement, Sobejana said.
The other crewmen who were kidnapped along with Besconde were Reyjim Rocabo, Roy Ramos, and Roel Liones, all residents of Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur.
F/B Ramona is owned by Ramona Fishing Corporation.
Sobejana said the military received confirmation that Besconde was beheaded at around 2:30 p.m. last April 13.
He added that they are scouring the western side of Patikul town for Besconde’s remains so that his family can give him a decent burial.
Initially, the Abu Sayyaf contacted Besconde’s family and demanded a P3 million ransom for his release.
But this did not materialize as the victim’s family lacked the means to pay the bandits. Besides, Sobejana said, the government has no-ransom policy.
Two Canadians were beheaded last year after its government allegedly failed to meet the Abu Sayyaf’s ransom demand.
Last month, a German national was also executed apparently for the same reason.
The Abu Sayyaf is still holding 27 hostages following the execution of Besconde. Most of the captives are Vietnamese sailors. (Darwin Wally T. Wee and Priam F. Nepomuceno/PNA)