Kidnappers identified?

MNLF official claims info on identity of group who took 4 in Samal
THE MORO National Liberation Front (MNLF) already knows the identity of the armed group that took three foreigners and a Filipina from a private resort in Island Garden City of Samal last Sept. 21.

In an interview yesterday, Abdul Aziz Olamit, vice chair in Central Committee of MNLF, said that they are familiar with the places where the kidnapped victims were reportedly brought.

“That’s why the group is willing to help,” Olamit said.

“There is information,” he said, on the identity of the abductors. “We are still monitoring who is the handler.

The victims were identified as Canadian John Ridsdel, former senior vice president for Canadian Mining Firm Toronto Ventures Inc. (TVI); Canadian Robert Hall, formerly connected with a mining firm which has links with TMI, a mining company operating in Davao Oriental, Norwegian KjartanSekkingstad and Maritess Flor, Hall’s partner.

He also said that the armed group is aleady holed up in Talipao, Sulu and it’s being protected by the Abu Sayyaf.

Previously, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte revealed that he already sought the help of MNLF founder Nur Misuari to establish a communication link to the kidnappers believed to be allied with the Abu Sayyaf Group.

However, Olamit said they will meet with Duterte to discuss the next move before disclosing more details to the press.

In a separate interview, Supt. Antonio Rivera,spokesperson of Police Regional Office XI,said they can’t confirmed yet whether the watercraft found abandoned in Barangay Silangkan, Parang in Sulu were used by the group.

“We traced the engine but the Marina and LTO could not trace where it came from,” he said. “It’s possible that it’s registered in another area.”

As of now, authorities still haven’t received the ransom demand from the group.

“If it is ransom or whatever, (we hope) that it could be done as early as possible,” Duterte said during the City Peace and Order Council meeting last week. “We don’t really control their motivations but I would be very happy if it will really be soonest.”

Duterte also made sure that the emissary relay his request to treat the victims well and, “that they would come out of this terrible situation alive.”