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Police recovers head of ASG victim

The decapitated head of what seems to belong to kidnap victim Patrick Jhames Almodavar was recovered by the local police in Barangay Kadjatan, Indanan Sulu.

Major Filemon Tan, the spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WesMinCom), said the head believed to be of Almodavar was wrapped in a plastic bag and was left by three alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) aboard a motorcycle.

As of press time, the decapitated head is being processed and investigated by elements of the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) and Indanan Police.

Almodavar, it was recalled, was abducted by the Ajang-Ajang group last July 16, 2016 in Barangay Asturias, Jolo, Sulu.

The group later turned him over to the ASG who in turned demanded for a P1 Million ransom to his family for his safe release.

The family of Almodavar earlier said they were able to raise only about P100,000 and had appealed to the government for help. The ASG however carried out their threat to behead the young Almodavar.

Meantime, President Duterte has renewed his order to the military and the police to find and destroy all enemies of the state, particularly the Islamist militant Abu Sayyaf.

This, after he learned of the beheading of Almodavar.

“That’s why I’m sending the troops there to destroy – My orders to the police and to the armed forces .. seek out (all enemies of the state). Seek them out in their lairs … and destroy them. Ang mga droga, destroy them. Ang mga Abu Sayyaf destroy them. Period,” the President said.

Asked how the present government’s war against the ASG be different from the previous administrations, Duterte said it will be “harsh.”

“I said I’ll be harsh. But, that is just a campaign, a campaign. Go out and destroy them. Patay kung ano ‘yan. ‘Wag na kayo magtanong ng human rights. Don’t bother to think (about human rights),” he stressed.

Meantime, suspected members of the ASG operating in Sulu province released unharmed Nora Awin Romoc and her eight-year old son Ricson Tuesday at an undisclosed place in Sulu.

Romoc and her son together with Nora’s husband identified as Elmer were abducted early this month in Sibugay province.

While mother and son were released, the bandits continue to hold captive Elmer who is said to be an employee of the Payao municipal treasurer’s office.

Unconfirmed reports say the family of Romoc were able to pay the ransom that led to the release of two of the three hostages. (With reports from Nonoy E. Lacson and Elena L. Aben) ( FRANCIS T. WAKEFIELD)