Duterte: Suspect in Samal kidnapping nabbed
STA. CRUZ, Davao del Sur – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said authorities had arrested one suspect in the September 21 kidnapping of three foreigners and a Filipino woman from a marina on the Island Garden City of Samal.
In an ambush interview with reporters here after his speech for the 131st anniversary of this town on Monday, Duterte also disclosed that another suspect had been identified as among those behind the kidnapping of Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall; Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, manager of the Holiday Oceanview marina; and Filipino Marites Flor.
Duterte said the arrested suspect was named Pandajar Adona alias Banon, who was “positively identified” through the CCTV footage that authorities had retrieved following the kidnapping.
He did not identify the other suspect, who was still being hunted down, or provide additional details on Adona.
Duterte, who got involved in the investigation of the kidnapping as chair of the Southern Mindanao peace and order council, said the information was bared to him during a recent briefing conducted by military authorities.
Last week, an official claimed that the kidnappers had two local contacts and that they stayed in their houses for three days before carrying out the abduction.
One of the local contacts was said to hold a mobile phone the kidnappers took from American Steven Tripp and his Japanese wife, Kazuka. The couple reportedly evaded abduction by jumping off their yacht.
In earlier interviews, Duterte said the kidnappers had already brought Ridsdel, Hall, Sekkingstad, and Flor to Sulu.
He also said the kidnappers, numbering 11, were either allied with the Abu Sayyaf or could be members of the bandit group themselves.
Duterte has also admitted he had sought the help of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari for the possible release of the victims.
While Duterte said the kidnapping was all about money, the suspects had not gotten in touch with relatives of the victims yet.
Authorities, meanwhile, continue to be tight-lipped on the progress of the investigation of the incident.
The Special Investigation Task Group the police had created has not provided update in the past days.
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