By Francis Wakefield
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) confirmed Sunday (April 16) that Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) beheaded another one of its kidnap victims in Sulu on April 13, Maundy Thursday.
Army Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, the commander of the AFP’s Joint Task Force Sulu, identified the beheaded kidnap victim as Noel Besconde, about 40 to 45 years old.
Sobejana said Besconde was part of the crew of the fishing boat FB Remona who were abducted by the ASG along Celebes Sea, in the tri-boundary of Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines in December 2016.
Sobejana said that based on reports he received, the victim was beheaded by the group of Hatib Hadjan Sawadjaan in the western side of Patikul, Sulu, about 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
“Yes, it is confirmed already. Actually, we already monitored the incident last April 13, but we did not confirm it immediately until such time that we got a video and we continue to search the Western side of Patikul,” Sobejana said.
Sobejana added that unlike the previous beheading incidents where ASG conducted rituals, a video of Besconde’s beheading showed that there was no ritual that took place in his decapitation.
The commander also added that they have an information saying that the victim was beheaded after becoming sick, thus making him a burden to the terrorist group.