Malacañang reiterates 'no ransom policy' amid Abu Sayyaf threat

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From left: Kjartan Sekkingstad, John Ridsel, Robert Hall, and Marithes "Tess" Flor

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Philippine government on Saturday (March 12) echoed its "no ransom policy," expressing optimism that the military will be able to iron the hostage crisis in Mindanao involving two Canadians, a Norweigan, and a Filipina.

The Abu Sayyaf Group, through a video released on social media this week, threatened to kill its hostages, who were abducted in a resort in Samal Island six months ago, unless ransom payment of P1 billion for each of the hostages is paid.

Also read: Foreign captives held by Philippine militants appeal for help

In a radio interview on March 12, Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office insisted no ransom will be paid to the extremist group to deter others from doing similar activities.

"Let us not dignify by communicating... With people who have broken the law and who are causing misery to innocent civilians, whether Filipino or foreign," he told state-owned dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

"And let us all say a silent prayer that these visitors to our country remain safe... and that they will be rescued at the soonest possible time."

Quezon assured that the Department of Foreign Affairs is in close contact with the Canadian and Norwegian governments, as well as with the families of the hostages.

Canadian tourists John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, Norwegian resort manager Kjartan Sekkingstad, and Filipina Marites Flor were abducted from a resort on Samal Island, Davao del Norte in September, and have since appealed for help from their respective governments.

Related: Abu Sayyaf demands P4B ransom for Samal kidnap victims