This was the original news after it happened.
ABUS BEHEAD 2 CAPTIVES, DUMP HEADS IN SULU PUBLIC MARKET
Zamboanga City, August 23, 2002 (STAR)By Roel Pareño - Suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorists have decapitated two of the six hostages they seized on Tuesday and dumped the heads in the public market of Jolo, Sulu, officials said yesterday.
Brig. Gen. Romeo Tolentino, commander of the 104th Army Brigade, said the heads were wrapped separately in plastic bags and were found in different spots at the Jolo public market on Serrantes street.
President Arroyo condemned the beheading and dispatched Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes and Armed Forces chief Gen. Roy Cimatu to Sulu to oversee the rescue operations mounted by the military and police.
"The President is very concerned about the safety of the hostages and, just like any decent Filipino, condemns the atrocities committed by this group," said Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye.
Tolentino identified the victims as Lemuel Montulo, 21, and Leonel Mantic, both members of the Kingdom Hall Jehovah’s Witness. Their severed heads were found separately on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Tolentino said the heads of the two hostages were found in bags with notes denouncing them as "infidels." The bags were left at food stands about 100 meters apart in the market, with the attached notes calling for jihad or Islamic holy war, including a passage from the Quran written in Arabic and the local Tausug dialect.
"They did this because they want to punish the nonbelievers of Allah," he said.
The Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Jolo reported that the torso of one of the beheaded victims was found yesterday afternoon near the place where they were abducted on Tuesday morning.
Correcting earlier police reports, Tolentino said there were actually four women in the group of eight people seized by armed men in Barangay Kaunayan in Patikul, Sulu.
Two of the victims, Muslim spouses Solaiman and Nadamalyn Sulaiman, who served as guides of the group, were released a few hours after the abduction.
Tolentino identified the remaining hostages as Mantic’s wife Emily, 23, Flora Montolo, 40, Montolo’s sister-in-law Cleofe, 46, and Norie Bendejo, 41, a native of Jolo.
The victims were also earlier identified as dealers of the American direct-selling firm Avon Products Inc.
But while authorities have established that the victims, mostly Zamboanga residents, were in Sulu simply to distribute cosmetics and other beauty products to their sales contacts, Avon’s local office denied that they were Avon dealers.