AFP: Abu Sayyaf may still have seven more kidnap victims

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 26) — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday said it is monitoring seven individuals still possibly held by the Abu Sayyaf.

AFP spokesperson BGen. Edgard Arevalo said the possible kidnap victims are three Indonesians, three Filipinos, and one Vietnamese national.

“As regards kung ilan pa ang kidnap victims, so far ang bilang na meron tayo ay pito...isang Vietnamese, tatlong Indonesians, at tatlong Pilipino,” said Arevalo.

[Translation: As regards how many kidnap victims are still there, so far the number we have right now is Vietnamese, three Indonesians, and three Filipinos.]

Arevalo said the military is still validating the whereabouts of the captives.

“‘Yan so far ang meron tayong information, vina-validate pa rin natin in a sense na some of them, for example yung Vietnamese was reported missing. Merong communication na nagde-demand for ransom, pero di pa rin natin na-validate yun. Wala rin tayong naririnig na impormasyon with regards to his current location,” he said.

[Translation: That is the information that we have so far. We are still validating in a sense that some of them, for example, the Vietnamese national was reported missing. There is a communication demanding for ransom, we are still validating that. We have not also heard about is his current location.]

He added, “Ganun din yung case ng tatlong Indonesians, although may report na kagaya nito na may video sila na which is not yet validated. Then yung tatlong Pilipino on different locations.”

[Translation: That’s the same with the case of three Indonesians, although there is a report that there is a video of them, which is not yet validated. Then there are three Filipinos who are in different locations.]

The military on Monday said a British national and his Filipino wife abducted in a resort in Zamboanga del Sur and have been rescued after days of intense firefight with the bandits.

Arevalo also downplayed the Abu Sayyaf’s kidnapping activities.

“Papahina na ang kanilang kidnapping activities sapagkat wala na silang nakukuhang ransom...Wala na rin silang salapi na pambayad sa mga tao na puwedeng makatulong na maitago sila," he said.

[Translation: Their kidnapping activities are already weakening because they don’t receive ransoms anymore...They don’t also have money to pay people to hide them.]