Filipina, 3 foreigners abducted on Samal Island
TAGUM CITY—(2ND UPDATE) An operation is now underway to locate and rescue four people, three of them foreigners, who were abducted by unidentified armed men at a resort in the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte on Monday night, police said.
The victims were composed of two Canadians, a Norwegian and a Filipina, said Senior Supt. Samuel Gadingan, Davao del Norte police chief.
Gadingan said the incident happened as the victims were on a yacht docked at Holiday Oceanview Resort in the village of Camudmod , Babak district when the suspects forcibly took them at gunpoint around 11:20 p.m.
“Up to 11 suspects arrived on a motorboat, and some of them headed to the yacht, knocked and forcibly herded the victims to their boat, before speeding off,” Gadingan told Inquirer by phone.
Capt. Alberto Caber, spokesperson of the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command, had initially identified three of the victims as Canadians John Ridsel and Robert Hall, and Kjartan Sekkingstad, a Norwegian.
Gadingan said the Norwegian has been staying at the resort for two months already and acted as caretaker of the yacht while the Filipina was the girlfriend of one of the Canadians.
A special investigation task group has been activated, while Davao del Norte police has tapped the assistance of the Philippine Navy, Philippine National Police Maritime Group and the Philippine Coast Guard to scour Davao Gulf to locate the victims and rescue them, Gadingan said.
Police in the coastal areas of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental provinces were also on the lookout for the suspects and their captives, said Gadingan.
The police official said investigation was ongoing to identify the group behind the kidnapping.
Monday’s abduction was the first in Davao region, specifically in the resort-island of Samal, since 2001, when Abu Sayyaff bandits tried to enter a popular resort there.
The kidnapping and terror group based in Western Mindanao, has been known to kidnap locals and foreigners in southern Philippines for ransom, since the 1990s.
“We’ve requested the resort owner to have the CCTV (close-circuit television) footage on the scene be enhanced to aid us in the investigation,” said Gadingan.
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