AFP chief flies to Davao to oversee rescue efforts on Samal abduction
Armed Forces chief Gen. Hernando Iriberri visited the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) in Davao City on Friday to personally oversee the developments on the abduction incident of three foreigners and a Filipina in Samal Island early this week.
AFP spokesperson Col. Restituto Padilla said the AFP chief sees this issue a “national priority.”
Iriberri “personally visited the troops because he wanted to get a personal firsthand information on the ongoing operations. He has also gone out of his way to ensure everything that Eastmincom needs in terms of assets—Navy, Air Force and the Army–are provided the headquarters,” Padilla told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo.
He said that the resources that will be required to assist the PNP in going after the kidnappers are their “highest priority.”
The PNP, backed by the military, has launched massive operations to locate the captives and their abductors.
Padilla said, however, that there are no significant developments for the search as of posting time but said that the search efforts are still concentrated in the Davao region.
“Our troops are working on the ground in Davao as of this time where all leads seem to be indicating the presence of the hostage takers,” he said.
A group of armed men stormed the Holiday Oceanview Hotel in Samal Island, a luxury resort, and took three foreigners–Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad–and a Filipina only identified as “Tess” before midnight Monday.
Padilla said they still have not identified the group behind the abduction and their captives.
“But if there are any information, its release will be delayed because of the operational security requirements,” he said.
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