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ASG demands P500M for German’s release

ZAMBOANGA CITY – A senior leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) is reportedly asking for a P500 Million ransom for the safe release of a German national they seized aboard his yacht in Sabah, Malaysia.

A source who declined to be identified said ASG leader Alhabsi Misaya is asking for that amount in exchange for 70-year-old German hostage Juegen Kantner.

The bandits took Kantner then raped his companion identified as Sabina Wetch last November 6. Wetch was shot to death before the kidnappers fled towards Sulu.

Armed Forces of the Philippines – Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) Spokesman Maj. Filemon I Tan, Jr., said the reported demand of the ASG is “unrealistic and is very high.”

Tan however said they still have to confirm the reported demand but at the same time assured they continue to gather information that would locate Kantner’s whereabouts.

The military official is also asking the family of the victim not to give in to the kindappers’s demands.

“It becomes a lucrative business for them so if we give them logistics – which is the ransom money – then the kidnapping will continue. We appeal to them to help us in the no ransom policy, implementation of that,” said Tan.

Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Muamar Askali, alias “Abu Rami,” claimed responsibility in abducting the couple.

The two, it turned out, were also abducted by Somali pirates in 2008 and held hostage for 58 days off the Gulf of Aden.

Kantner, in a 2009 interview with the Agence France-Presse, said despite being subjected to mock execution in the hands of the Somali pirates, he would continue sailing.