A Filipina and three foreign tourists been kidnapped by armed men in one of the resort located in Samal Island.
On Monday evening, a Filipina and three foreign been kidnapped in a resort in the Island Garden City of Samal , Davao del Norte, 21 September 2015. The victims were identified as 56 year-old Norwegian resort manager Kjartan Sekkinstad and Filipina girlfriend named ‘Tess”, including a 68 year-old Canadian guests John Ridsdel and 50 year-old Robert Hall who stayed in a resort in Samal Island. Armed men also tried to kidnap two Japanese nationals, fortunately they able to escape after they fought with them.
Samal Island is known for having many beautiful resorts which attracts domestic as well as foreign tourist. The city is the largest resort city in the country and the only city in the country that encompasses two entire islands. This is name as the Island Garden City which has numerous marine reefs and tranquil waters that lure the tourists to visit them. Tourist must ride barge/ferry service or passenger boats in order to reach the island city.
Public Information Officer chief of the Eastern Mindanao Command, Captain Alberto Caber stated, the four victims were taken at gunpoint during a raid late on Monday night on the Oceanview resort on Samal island, near Davao City. Two Canadian tourists, a Norwegian resort manager and a Filipino woman were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen. Four people were taken but we do not know what group was behind the attack, it appeared the foreigners were the targets, they were not taken at random.
According to Senior Supt. Samuel Gadingan, Davao del Norte police chief, the incident happened as the victims were on a yacht docked at Holiday Oceanview Resort when the suspects forcibly took them at gunpoint around 11:20 p.m. The Norwegian has been staying at the resort for two months already and acted as caretaker of the yacht while the Filipina was the girlfriend of one of the Canadians. A special investigation task group has been activated and Davao del Norte police tapped assistance of the Philippine Navy, Philippine National Police Maritime Group and the Philippine Coast Guard to find and rescue victims.
The kidnappers were fully armed and have overpowered the resort’s security guard, said Police Sr. Supt. Aaron Aquino of the Police Regional Office 11. About 20 men on board two-speed boats arrived in the scene and kidnapped the said victims around 10:30 p.m. and fled towards Compostela Valley. Authorities were conducting search and rescue operations and dispatched several teams in order to track down kidnappers along with the Coast Guards. IMAGE/RAPPLER