Manila: Security officials played down two recent terror incidents in southern Philippines. They say these events have nothing to do with the Asia Pacific leaders’s meeting in Manila.
Philippine National Police Director General Ricardo Marquez said last Tuesday’s beheading of a Malaysian kidnap victim in Sulu and the bombing of a van in Davao City are also not connected.
“Although we are not dismissing the effect [of these two events] on peace and order, we believe they have nothing to do with the conduct of the meeting,” Marquez said.
“Based on the information we received, the hostage was executed after the family of the victims failed to come up with ransom being demanded by the kidnappers,” he said.
Malaysian-Chinese kidnap victim Bernard Thien was executed on Tuesday by his captors. He had been held by the Abu Sayyaf since May this year. He was kidnapped in Sendakan in Malaysia and was taken across the sea border to Sulu.
The kidnapping incident on Tuesday shocked Malaysia with officials describing the incident as “barbaric”.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najeeb Razzak, in his Facebook post, said: “Malaysians are shocked and sickened by the murder of our countryman Bernard Then and we condemn it in its strongest terms.”
“We call upon authorities to take action against those who have perpetrated this savage and barbaric act and ensure that they are brought to justice. We will also extend our full cooperation to relevant agencies and authorities in charge on the investigation of this incident,” the Malaysian premier said.
A day after the execution of Thien, a passenger van exploded in Ecoland district, 500km away in Davao City.
Two people were injured in the incident.