Top mining exec bagged in Samal island kidnapping PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 September 2015 12:07

Kidnappers appear to have hooked a “big fish” when they seized in Samal island, Davao del Norte late Monday three foreigners, one of whom was later identified as the president of a big Canadian mining operating in Zamboanga del Norte ad Zamboanga del Sur.

The Linked-In account of sixty eight-year-old John Ridsdel identified him as president of TVI Minerals Processing, Inc., a firm that provides mineral mining services.

MindaNews cited Bloomberg Business’ website as saying TVI Minerals Processing as a subsidiary of TVI International Marketing Limited, that engages in mining of Copper, Silver, Zinc, Gold, and other minerals.

The company has been operating in the hinterland village of Canatuan, Siocon town, Zamboanga del Norte province and in Bayog town, Zamboanga del Sur.

Ridsel, along with another Canadian, Robert Hall, 50, Kjartan Sekkingstad, 56, a Norwegian, and  Hall’s Filipina fiancee named Tess were snatched by unidentified gunmen around 11:30 p.m. Monday from the Holiday Oceanview Samal Resort in the famous Samal island, a favorite destination of foreign and local tourists in Davao del Norte province.

Ridsdel’s main office is in the suburban city of Pasig in Metro Manila.

The Government of Canada, in a statement e-mailed Monday night to MindaNews by Nicolas Doire, spokesperson of the Media Relations Office of the Public Affairs Branch of the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development department, said it is “aware of reports that Canadian citizens were kidnapped in the Philippines” and that it is “pursuing all appropriate channels to seek further information.”

“The Government of Canada will not comment or release any information which may compromise ongoing efforts and risk endangering the safety of Canadian citizens abroad,” the statement read.

Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao Commander Rafael Mariano was quoted as saying the kidnappers’ boats headed towards the direction of Pantukan town in Compostela Valley.

An ABS-CBN report Monday night showed CCTV surveillance camera footage of unmasked armed men forcing their victims to board the boats. The report also quoted a police official as saying the armed men spoke “fluent English and Tagalog.”

In past incidents, the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, have not left behind handwritten notes but issues formal statements and sends these to media outlets to announce or deny it perpetrated an act.

In a text message sent to the media, Samal mayor Aniano Antalan urged beach resort owners in Samal to beef up security measures to ensure the safety of the visitors, encouraging them to install high definition closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) and arm their security guards.

Araceli Ayuste, president of the Davao del Norte Provincial Tourism Council told MindaNews the need for resort operators to put in place a communication network as part of the security mitigating measures during crisis situations.

Monday’s kidnapping was the second case in 14 years in Samal, but the first, in May 2011 at the Pearl Farm resort, was foiled by alert security guards. The attack was allegedly perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf Group. Two employees were killed while three others were injured.