Abu Sayyaf demands P4B ransom for Samal kidnap victims

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A video surfaced online showing the four victims abducted at the Holiday Oceanview Samal Resort last September 21. They said their captors are demanding P1 billion ransom for each of them.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) is demanding a ransom of P4 billion for the four victims kidnapped on Samal Island last September 21.

Related: 3 foreigners, Filipina kidnapped on Samal Island

A video circulating online showed Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, and Filipina Marithes Flor with their captors in an unidentified area.

The three foreigners explained that they are being held captive by the ASG and that a ransom of P1 billion is being asked for each of them.

"My name is John Ridsel. I'm also being held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf Group. We're being ransomed for each for P1 billion. I appeal to the Canadian prime minister and the people of Canada please pay this ransom as soon as possible or our lives in great danger," Ridsel pleaded while a bolo was pointed at his neck.

"These people are serious and very treacherous. Take them seriously. Help us. Get us out of of here," Hall said next.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday (November 4), however, said that it was still authenticating the video, adding that it was doing its best to rescue the victims.

Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, PNP spokesman, also refused to confirm if the ASG was indeed behind the kidnapping. According to him, the victims' safety is a primordial concern and that rescue operations are ongoing.

When asked about the authenticity of the first video, which came out online last October, of the alleged Samal kidnap victims, Mayor said they got some information from it. But he did not give details.

Related: ISIS-aligned Filipino militants release video of hostages

"As much as possible, we don't want tactical or operational matters revealed to the public because of the sensitivity of the operation. Remember that lives are at stake here," he said.

No ransom policy

On Wednesday, Malacañan reiterated its "no ransom" policy. It added that there would be no need to verify the video as the government would not negotiate with terror groups anyway.

"The policy of the government doesn't change. We don't negotiate in instances like this. The tracking [and] search and rescue operations are still ongoing as we speak," Undersecretary Abigail Valte, deputy presidential spokesperson, said.

Mayor also said that the PNP adheres to the "no ransom" policy of the government.

CNN Philippines' Gerg Cahiles and Patricia de Leon contributed to this story.