The identity of the four kidnapping victims and their nationalities were revealed earlier today by the police authorities. The kidnapping incident in the Island Garden City of Samal occurred Monday night.
The four kidnapping victims include 2 Canadians namely John Ridsdel and Robert Hall; Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad who is also the Resort Manager and his Filipina girlfriend identified only as Tess.
According to Capt. Alberto Caber, spokesman of the AFP EastMinCom, the suspects arrived at 11:23 PM at the dock using a motorized banca. A few of the kidnappers pretended as tourist and spoke in fluent Tagalog and English based on the investigation conducted by the local police. While the rest wore military camouflage as shown on the CCTV.
In addition, the suspects were armed with small and long firearms. Immediately upon arrival, the armed men carried out their plan and quickly overpowered the armed security personnel of the resort without firing their guns. The gunmen quickly left at exactly 11:30 PM as shown on the CCTV footage.
Two Japanese couple fought off the kidnappers and jumped into sea to escape from the perpetrators. Fortunately the kidnappers did not bother to give them a chase. As a result of the scuffle, the Japanese sustained minor injuries.
The police were able to get hold of the CCTV footage of the resort and confirmed that eleven armed men came and left with the victims on board a motorized banca.
However, the morning after, reports said two motorized bancas were found on the shores of Tibanban in Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental believed to be the getaway boat of the kidnappers.
The spokesman of the AFP-EastMinCom also confirmed that the police immediately went to the resort to investigate the kidnapping incident as soon as it reached their desk. A hot pursuit operation was conducted a few hours later.
According to the spokesperson of AFP- EastMinCom, naval blockade is underway to prevent the kidnappers from returning to their stronghold in Basilan or Sulu.
Meanwhile, the netizens from the City of Davao are quick to point out the kidnapping incident did not occur under the jurisdiction of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and that the Island City is a separate political entity headed by Mayor Aniano Antalan.
The constituents of Davao City are apprehensive that his political enemies will use the incident to undermine the popularity of the tough Mayor of Davao in case he changes his mind and throw his hat in the political arena in the 2106 Presidential election.