Abu Sayyaf Militants to behead another hostage
ZAMBOANGA CITY: The Abu Sayyaf has announced that it will be beheading its hostage, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, if Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza insists on the non-payment of ransom.
“There is no more ultimatum, we are going to behead this Norwegian anytime today,” said Abu Sayyaf spokesman Abu Rami, who called a couple of journalists here on Sunday night.
Rami said the beheading will be done following reports of Dureza’s pronouncement of the government’s no-ransom policy.
The Abu Sayyaf has been demanding 300 million pesos (RM25.5mil) in exchange for Sekkingstad’s freedom.
Rami said they were aware that ransom was already set for delivery, and they were just waiting for someone to deliver the money.
Sekkingstad is one of four victims who were taken from a marina in the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte in November last year.
Rami’s announcement came two days after the body of beheaded Abu Sayyaf kidnap victim, Canadian Robert Hall, was found in Sulu on Saturday morning.
Hall was beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf on June 13 after the bandit group failed to receive the ransom money they had demanded.
His head was found on the same day in front of the Jolo Cathedral.
Hall was the second kidnap victim the bandits had decapitated after fellow Canadian John Ridsdel, who was killed in April.
Filipino Marites Flor was freed on June 24. — Philippines Daily Inquirer / Asia News Network
Law-abusing tribunal to issue award on South China Sea arbitration
AN arbitral tribunal with widely contested jurisdiction will issue an award on July 12 on the South China Sea case unilaterally initiated by the Philippines, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague said.
“The Tribunal will issue its Award on Tuesday, 12 July 2016 at approximately 11 A.M.,” the PCA, acting as the registry of the tribunal, said in a press release.
“The Award will first be issued via e-mail to the Parties, along with an accompanying Press Release containing a summary of the Award,” it added.
China has refused to participate in the proceedings and declared that it will never recognize the verdict, stressing that the tribunal has no jurisdiction because the case is in essence related to territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation.
Beijing has pointed out that territorial issues are not subject to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and that as early as in 2006 it declared — in line with UNCLOS — to exclude disputes concerning maritime delimitation from mandatory dispute-settlement procedures. Some 30 countries have also filed declarations of this kind. – Xinhua