DAVAO CITY, Philippines: The series of kidnappings by the Abu Sayyaf group has tarnished the image of the Philippines and this must stop, President-elect Rodigo Duterte said on Friday.
Speaking during the turnover of command ceremony of the Davao City Police, Duterte said he would have “to confront the Abu Sayyaf.”
“Ayoko makipag-away (I don’t want to fight) with anybody but there will be a time, ayoko lang sabihin (I just don’t want to say it), that I will have to confront Abu Sayyaf,” he said.
“It is not yet forthcoming alam ko pero yung kidnapping nila must stop. It has given us a very bad image,” he added.
Duterte issued the statement after Filipina kidnap victim Marites Flor was released on Friday morning by the bandit group.
Duterte said he negotiated for the release of Flor with the help of Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan II.
Flor and her Canadian boyfriend Robert Hall together with another Canadian John Ridsdel and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, were kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf on Samal Island in September last year.
The Abu Sayyaf beheaded Ridsdel and Hall after their ransom demands were not met.
Duterte said they are also negotiating the release of Sekkingstad.During a business forum here, Duterte warned the Abu Sayyaf there would be “a day of reckoning.” He asked the public to give him ample time to confront the problem. – The Philippines Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network
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