• Kyodo

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Philippine authorities on Sunday maintained their policy of not paying ransom for the release of hostages, on the eve of a deadline set by a local bandit group that has been holding three people, including two foreigners, hostage for months.

Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said the military will sustain its offensive against the Abu Sayyaf militant group in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao to try to free the hostages.

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