MANILA, Philippines, Nov 18, (Agencies): Malaysia’s prime minister has urged Philippine authorities to punish kidnappers who reportedly beheaded a Malaysian man in the southern Philippines, saying he and his people are “shocked and sickened” by the savage act.
The Philippine military said it is verifying intelligence reports that the militants killed Bernard Then Ted Fen in a jungle in Sulu province, where the militants are holding other captives. Prime Minister Najib Razak called on authorities late Tuesday to take action against those behind “this savage and barbaric act.”
Najib’s comments came after the Philippine military said it was working to verify reports that Malaysian national Bernard Then had been beheaded by the Islamic militant group Abu Sayyaf, which is known for its kidnappings for ransom. “I, the government, and all Malaysians are shocked and sickened by the murder of our countryman Bernard Then, and we condemn it in its strongest terms,” Najib said in a statement on his Facebook page.
Then, a 39-year-old engineer, was abducted in May from a seaside restaurant in Malaysia’s Sabah state, across from the southern Philippines.
A Malaysian woman, Thien Nyuk Fun, was seized along with him. They were taken by boat to the strifetorn southern Philippine island of Jolo. Then was released last week following negotiations. A ransom was reportedly paid. Philippine military spokesman Colonel Restituto Padilla said Then was killed after ransom talks collapsed.