AFP not negotiating with Samal Island kidnappers

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will not negotiate with the armed group who abducted three foreigners and one Filipina in a resort in Samal Island last month. “The policy of government as well as others who have been in this kind of situation is that there is no negotiation that can be made with any of those perpetrating this crime,” AFP spokesperson Col. Restituto Padilla said Wednesday.

Padilla made the statement when asked on whether the government is willing to negotiate with the bandits for the safe release of the four kidnap victims. “As far as we are concerned, (this none negotiation rule) applies (to all cases),” Padilla pointed out.

This, even as a video of the victims and their captors was posted online, entitled Canadian Hostages Held By Abu Sayyaf, recently demanding for the government to stop the operations against the group.

The abduction incident took place before midnight on September 21. The victims were identified as Canadians John Ridsel and Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, the resort manager, and an unidentified Filipina.

Reports said the suspects were speaking in English and Filipino when they snatched the victims.

Two Japanese tourists tried to stop the bandits but failed. At the time of the raid, 30 or more foreigners were at the resort.

Joint forces from Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao Philippine Coast Guard and the 10th Infantry Division are now conducting pursuit operations.