Advisory Type: kidnapping of tourists
Information Source: Allmode
At 11.23 pm, eleven armed men entered the dock area at the Oceanview resort on Samal island. They overpowered the security guards and proceeded to abduct four people from the resort; 2 Canadians, 1 Norwegian and a Filipina woman.
Two Japanese tourists were injured in the abduction, as they tried to prevent the gunmen from taking the tourists.
The gunmen, thought to be linked to the al-Qaeda affiliated group, Abu Sayyaf, sped off towards the nearby Pantukan area in Compostela Valley onboard two motorised bancas.
The two bancas were later recovered in the shores of Tibanban in Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental on Tuesday morning. So far, no group has come out to claim responsibility for the abduction and the families of those abducted have not yet been contacted regarding a ransom. It is thought that there were around thirty foreign tourists at the resort at the time.
A naval blockade was set up around the island to stop the kidnappers from reaching Basilan Island farther to the southwest where the militants have strongholds where they keep hostages while negotiating ransoms. The Abu Sayyaf, which has about 400 gunmen, was recently declared a terrorist group by a Philippine court.
The militants are still holding other hostages, including two Malaysians, a Dutch bird watcher kidnapped nearly three years ago, and a town mayor. It is worth noting that although Davao is regarded as safe, the surrounding areas are some of the most dangerous in the Philippines and most insurers will not pay out if you need to make a claim whilst being in Davao.
Travellers are strongly advised to research and carefully plan for stays in resorts that are located within or close to dangerous regions and seek professional advice and training prior to a visit.