Military says Pinoy captive beheaded by Abu was ill

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 April) — A Filipino captain of a fishing boat who was abducted somewhere in the Celebes Sea on December 20, 2016 was beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf on April 13 “because he was reportedly ill and impeded their movement to evade the operating units that are hunting them,” Brig. Gen Cirilito Sobejana, Commander of Joint Task Force Sulu said in a press statement issued by the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom).

The Westmincom expressed its “extreme indignation” over  the beheading of Noel Besconde, captain of FB Ramona, by Abu Sayyaf Group sub-leader Sadjawaan on April 13 at the vicinity of Barangay Tugas in Patikul, Sulu.

Besconde, of Tukuran in Zamboanga del Sur, was one of three members of the crew of FB Ramona who were abducted somewhere in Celebes Sea in December.

It quoted General Eduardo Año, chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as saying that “while the AFP condemns this gruesome murder of this hapless kidnap victim, it all the more drives our soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines to deliver the lethal blow against this band of terrorists and rescue the remaining kidnap victims.”

“This terrorist group are all the more, by their recent barbarism, fueling the desire of the AFP to crush their beastly practice, stop their kidnap-for-ransom activities, and restore peace in Western Mindanao,” he said.

Año said they will “never falter” and “will not rest”  to protect the people and  will exhaust “all means – legal and moral – to bring this war against terrorists to conclusion.”

Año instructed Sobejana to ensure Besconde’s remains are found and brought to his family.

“We continue to call on every God-fearing resident of Sulu, Basilan, and other parts of Western Mindanao to help your AFP and other security forces to put a stop to this criminal and evil act of the ASG. They have no place in our civilized society,” Año said.  (MindaNews)