No ransom demand for 3 aliens

THE abductors of three foreigners and a Filipina from a Davao island resort have yet to demand a ransom three days after the kidnapping, authorities said  Thursday.

“There has been no ransom demand,” said Supt. Antonio Rivera, spokesman for the Police Regional Office-Davao. Not even the management of the Ocean View Hotel Island Resort where the kidnapping took place had received word, he added.

Military officials said they had good leads about the whereabouts of the captives, but could not say who the abductors were.

Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, Canadians John Ridsdel,  Robert Hall

Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall and the Filipino woman were snatched by still unidentified gunmen from their yacht at a marina on Samal Island in Davao  11:30 p.m.  Monday.

An informed source said authorities had been warned that the Abu Sayyaf planned to stage a kidnapping in Davao City before  Monday’s  abduction.

The report was forwarded to top military officials but it was unclear if they acted upon the alert.

“We don’t know what happened after that. As far as we are concerned, we forwarded the report and all information that we collated,” the source added.

Police released an artist’s sketch of one of the suspects, a man between 20 and 30, about 5’3, of medium build and dark complexion.

The description came from Kazuko Tripps, a Japanese woman who avoided being abducted by jumping into the water along with her husband.

Security forces backed by air and naval assets scoured the hinterlands of Eastern Mindanao in search of the kidnap victims.

Military officials said they were hopeful that there would be a breakthrough in the case.

“We have a good lead today and something will happen in the next hours,” said Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Aurelio Baladad.

He said the kidnappers apparently came from Sulu, but said this did not mean they were from the Abu Sayyaf Group.

“The primary suspect is ASG, but I would not conclude that it is ASG,” he added.

Baladad said he believed the suspects were still in his area of operation.

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