Duterte appeals to ASG not to harm kidnap victims

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(File photo)

Davao City (CNN Philippines) — Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte appealed on Monday (September 28) to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) not to harm four tourists kidnapped at the Holiday Oceanview Resort in Samal Island last September 21.

Duterte believes the ASG is behind the abductions.

He said was reaching out to the kidnappers and was planning on going to Talipao, Sulu to appeal to the kidnappers to release their hostages unharmed.

He said he was seeking the help of Nur Misuari, but he was having difficulty getting in touch with the founder of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), who had been in hiding since the 2013 siege of Zamboanga City by some of his followers.

Duterte said the embassies of Canada, Great Britain, and Norway wanted to meet with him on Monday to seek an active part in the negotiations.

But he made it clear to the foreign envoys that paying ransom would never an option.

Earlier reports citing intelligence sources indicated that the Tanum group from Patikul, Sulu were the ones who kidnapped Kjartan Sekkingstad, the Norwegian manager of the resort; Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall; and Filipina Marithes Flor.

Tanum is a village in Patikul, Sulu that a been known as a lair of the ASG, which has been involved in several kidnappings in recent years.

According to the same reports, the kidnappers and their victims arrived aboard a white speedboat in Barangay Kaunayan in Patikul, Sulu around 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday (September 22), roughly 13 hours after the abduction in Samal.