Residents barely notice abduction of Filipina, 3 foreigners in Davao
SAMAL ISLAND, Philippines- They were still floating around in their boats for about 30 minutes before they finally launched their attack, residents here said of the unidentified men who abducted two Canadians, a Norwegian and a Filipina late at night on Monday, September 21.
Enrique Honorario, 56, who lived a few distance away from the gate of the Holiday Oceanview Resort, said boatmen who lived close to the sea where the men took the three foreign nationals and a Filipina in this marina, noticed the boats at about half past 11 p.m., but they did not know what was going on.
It was only in the morning when they awoke to the news of the abduction.
The management of Oceanview, a dock for foreign-owned private yachts on the northwestern tip of Samal island operated by the Bangayan family, refused to face the media and refrained from issuing any statement on the abduction, which included among its victims the resort’s manager, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad.
Even the community near the Kalapati beach resort, barely a few minutes boatride to the marina, said they did not notice anything unusual during the night, although they awoke to the news of the abduction.
Samal residents and passengers of the roll-off, roll-on wharf connecting Davao City and Samal island, said this was the first time in years that foreign nationals got abducted on Samal island, a place which relies heavily on tourism, and which over the years have marketed itself for its beaches, diving and snorkeling sites and resorts.
“The last time that I heard such bad news as this was during the days of the ‘ambak pare’ or pirates targeting fishing boats in the sea in the late 1980s, but not foreign nationals,” said a passenger and Samal island resident named Leowela, 37.
“But there were not many foreigners, then,” she said.
Except for the unsuccessful attempt of the Abu Sayyaf group in 2001, the recent abduction was the first such incident in years to happen to the island next to Davao City, touted one of the world’s safest cities.
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