Abu henchmen posing as NPA eyed in Samal kidnapping
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - September 28, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The kidnappers of three foreigners and a Filipina at a resort in Samal Island last week were reportedly local henchmen of the Abu Sayyaf who passed themselves off as communist rebels, sources disclosed yesterday.

The source also maintained that the hostages – Canadians John Ridsdel, 68, Robert Hall, 50, Norwegian resort manager Kjartan Sekkingstad and Hall’s Filipina girlfriend Maritess Flor – are now in Sulu.

“The kidnappers, believed to be local contacts of the Abu Sayyaf, intentionally used New People’s Army as their cover to mislead pursuing government troops. They even left a note declaring that they are seeking justice for their commander,” the source said.

This deception apparently paid off and gave the kidnappers time to escape with their hostages, traversing the coastal areas of Davao Gulf, mostly along Muslim communities, towards Sarangani province while thousands of military and police troops pursued them in the mountains of Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur.

Along the way, the abductors transferred the hostages to their waiting Abu Sayyaf patrons who took them to Sulu.

“The boat used by the bandit group is quite big and can withstand rough sea conditions,” he said, adding that upon reaching Sulu, the bandits tried to sink the boat by punching a hole in the vessel’s hull.

Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Aurelio Baladad said that all leads being pursued by the combined military and police elements in Davao region have turned out to be false.

He also admitted that there were indications that the bandits, with their hostages, have slipped through the military and police land and naval blockade.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he received reports that the kidnappers and their hostages are now in Sulu.

Col. Restituto Padilla, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman, yesterday said that the military’s ongoing rescue operations were a failure. – With Christina Mendez, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Perseus Echeminada, Roel Pareño, Edith Regalado

 

 

 

 

ABU SAYYAF ACIRC ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AURELIO BALADAD CANADIANS JOHN RIDSDEL CECILLE SUERTE FELIPE DAVAO DAVAO CITY MAYOR RODRIGO DUTERTE DAVAO GULF EASTERN MINDANAO COMMAND EDITH REGALADO
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