MNLF can’t confirm Samal kidnappers’ ransom demand yet
ISABELA CITY, Philippines — The Islamic Command Council of the Moro National Liberation Front (ICC-MNLF) has no information about ransom being demanded by the kidnappers of two Canadians, a Norwegian and a Filipina who were taken by armed men from the Island Garden City of Samal on Sept. 21.
Habib Hashim Mudjahab, chair of the ICC-MNLF, said he has not heard of any information that the abductors have made contact.
“We don’t have any information about ransom demand. I just heard it (P2 billion ransom demand) from you,” he said, adding that they have been trying to contact the MNLF in Sulu “but due to very poor signal, making this verification is very difficult.”
But Octavio Dinampo, a Sulu-based Mindanao State College professor, said he got information from his local sources that the Abu Sayyaf was demanding P50 million for each of the four hostages.
“I just came from Sulu and that is what we were able to gather from our sources there,” Dinampo said. He identified one of the bandits who took the four as Alhabshi Maasi, who belongs to the Abu Sayyaf group led by Albader Parad.
“This Maasi is a military asset, and he just took oath more than three years ago with the MNLF,” Dinampo said.
The victims — Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipina Tess Flor — were taken from the Holiday Oceanview Resorts, a marina for yachts in the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte. There were reports that the victims were brought to Sulu, but the police said this was still being verified. SFM
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