MNLF look for kidnap victims

THE Moro National Liberation Front is already trying to locate the three foreigners and a Filipina who were kidnapped in Samal Island last Sept. 21 although the government has made no official request for assistance.

MNLF Spokesman Absalom Cerveza said they have already asked several MNLF commanders in Sulu for information, but has so far yielded negative results.

“I asked our men in Sulu if there is an ongoing operation relative to the matter but I was told there is  none,” Cerveza said, suggesting that reports claiming that the four victims had already been transferred to the custody of the Abu Sayyaf group may just be a “diversionary tactic.”

“It’s because there are so many hands dipping into the issue,” Cerveza said. “We all know its already political season, and we just don’t want to make a move without the government requesting us to help.”

“They should specifically request the MNLF to assist the government locate the kidnap victims, not just merely saying that any group or individuals are welcome to resolve the crime,” Cerveza said.

He made the remark after Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told reporters that the Palace welcomes the help being offered by the MNLF to rescue the three foreigners and Filipina who were kidnapped by still unidentified men in Samal Island last week.

“The help of any organization or individual to resolve any crime is welcomed by the government,” Coloma said in a text message to Palace reporters. “But we must know the whereabouts of the suspects.”

Cerveza said they are still verifying information that the victims and their captors are now in the custody of the Abu Sayyaf in the hinterlands between Parang and Indanan towns in Sulu.

On Sept. 21, armed men kidnapped Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sikkingstad and Maritess Flor at the Holiday Ocean View Samal Resort at Barangay Camudmud in Samal Island.

Last Saturday, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte claimed he received information that the captives were taken to Sulu after they were brought to the town of Glan in Sarangani province.

The military, meanwhile, said they found the boat used by the kidnappers in Jolo, Sulu.

 “We have eyeballed the sea craft, but not the kidnap victims from Samal,” said Brig. Gen. Alan  Arrojado, commander of Joint Task Group Sulu.

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