A manhunt is underway throughout the Davao del Sur and Davao del Norte regions after a boatload of kidnappers came ashore on Samal Island and seized at least four people, three of whom were foreigners.
Reports suggest that two Canadians and one Norwegian were taken. Ground and air patrols are continuing to search for the victims.
The men have been identified as John Ridsel and Robert Hall, of Canada, and Kjartan Sekkingstad of Norway.
Reports say the Norwegian had been staying at the Oceanview Marina for two months, acting as a caretaker of the docked yachts.
A Filipina victim is believed to be the girlfriend of one of the Canadians.
Some reports suggest that the MILF militia group is responsible, and is likely to demand ransom money.
The abduction took place at about 11:30pm when the suspects came aboard one Canadian’s boat and kidnapped the occupants.
Reports suggest that as many as 11 militants were responsible for the kidnapping which unfolded close to Davao City.
Authorities are now warning foreigners to stay clear of Samal.
Oceanview in the village of Camudmod, Babak District. The yacht club is owned by the same person who owns Camp Holiday Resort, as well as the Ferry Shuttle service and bus service to Samal Island. He is also owner of Holiday Taxi in Davao City.
“Up to 11 suspects arrived on a motorboat, and some of them headed to the yacht, knocked and forcibly herded the victims to their boat, before speeding off,” Gadingan said.
Capt. Alberto Caber, an official spokesman for Eastern Mindanao Command, initially identified the three kidnapping victims as Canadian, it was only later learned that one was Norwegian.
A special task force has been including the police, navy, police maritime group and the coast guard to track down the victims and their kidnappers.
Police are also searching the coastal regions of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, a notorious hot-spot for kidnappings in recent years. The last time Samal was hit with similar problems was in 2001 when the Abu Sayyaf attempted to enter a popular beach resort.
Dadingan announced “We’ve requested the resort owner to have the CCTV footage of the scene enhanced to aid us in the investigation.”
Eric Taylor, an American living in Oceanview saw the kidnapping first-hand. He reported to PLN that the four members involved in the kidnapping were his friends. Mr Taylor also said he saw the group running away, and that two other foreign individuals were involved, both of which he rushed to hospital.
The other two individuals are of unknown nationality at this time, but suspected to be Japanese.