04 Jul Abu Sayyaf and Dureza Under Negotiation on a No-Ransom Release of Norwegian Hostage
On Sunday, July 3, Presidential Peace Process Adviser Jesus Dureza said that the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) are willing to have a negotiation for the release of the remaining Norwegian national, Kjartan Sekkingstand, who seized in the Island Garden City of Samal last September 2015.
Dureza said, “I got a word from someone in Zamboanga City that one Abu Rami allegedly from ASG wanted to talk to me directly about the Norwegian hostage. I told the person that I am ready and willing to talk with anyone for the release of the hostage and save lives provided that it would not be about the ransom.”
He has already given his number and is currently waiting for that person to contact him.
The negotiation started during the release of Marites Flor on June 24. Flor’s release is “gesture of goodwill” according to ASG.
Flor was presented to President Rodrigo Duterte during the Davao City Police Office change of command ceremony. On that same day, Duterte had met with the Norwegian ambassador.
Of the 4 abducted on Samal Island last year, Sekkingstand is the remaining person who has been held captive by the ASG. Flor was released, and both the Canadian nationals John Ridsdel and Robert Hall has been beheaded on April 25 and June 13 respectively.