Geneva, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Philippines media ABS-CBN News reports late Tuesday 31 March that Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan says no beheadings of ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) staff happened Tuesday despite the 14:00 deadline being passed. ABS-CBN says this matches reports from its sources. The Abu Sayyaf rebel group has threatened to behead one of the hostages it took 15 January.
ABS-CBN reports that a state of emergency has been declared on Sulu Island but details of what is happening remain sketchy. “The state of emergency imposed curfews on citizens and compelled
security forces to set up checkpoints that give them wide powers to
detain and search suspects, especially supporters of the rebel group. Operatives from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed
Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have reportedly been required to search
citizens going in and out of the province.”
The ICRC in Geneva had not issued any updates since President Jakob Kellenberger made a video appeal to the kidnappers 27 March.