Duterte: intel info say 3 foreigners taken to Sulu PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 27 September 2015 14:24

The mayor of Davao City on Saturday said he received intelligence information that the three foreigners and a Filipina kidnapped at an island resort off Davao del Norte have been taken to Sulu, a stronghold of the militant Abu Sayyaf group in the Philippines’ south.

Mayor Rodolfo Duterte told ABS CBN News his intelligence information showed that after snatching the three foreigners and Filipina Thursday in Holiday Ocean View Resort, Samal island, a popular vacation spot for foreign and local tourists, the kidnappers took their captives to a motorized outrigger boat then later transferred them to a larger and faster motorized boat.

The mayor said the group passed by Glan, Sarangani and from there, took only six hours to reach Sulu.

Duterte declined to identify the group responsible for taking the four tourists at gunpoint.

He instead said that the armed men may be linked to the Abu Sayyaf  one of them appears to resemble a known member of the militant group, based on the resort’s closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage.

“They (victims) were delivered to a known Abu Sayyaf Group. Whether they are also actually Abu Sayyaf members, that we do not know. It’s expected as they are passed from one group to another the ransom is expected to go up,”Duterte said.

He said believes it is probable that the abduction had been deliberate and that the suspects knew their target.

“We have this hanging suspicion that the hostages are pre-determined victims,” the mayor said.

The mayor reiterated that he is willing to be part of the negotiating team for the release of the Canadian tourists John Ridsel and Robert Hall, Norwegian resort manager Kjartan Sekkingstad, and a Filipina only known as Marites.

ABS CBN News quoted the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Ocean View, as saying that an organized kidnap-for-ransom group is behind the abduction.

Task group head Chief Supt. Federico Dulay refused to identify the group amid the ongoing rescue operations.

The task group is convinced that the kidnappers have not yet left Davao Region, contrary to Duterte’s claim.