No particular suspect yet on Samal kidnapping of foreigners, Filipina

Sep. 23, 2015

DAVAO CITY – The authorities on Wednesday afternoon released a composite cartographic sketch of one of the suspects of the kidnapping incident in a luxury resort in the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte province.

Police Chief Superintendent Federico Dulay, Jr designated commander of the Special Investigation Task Group said the sketch is based on the description of the couple Steven and Kazuka Tripp who escaped the kidnapping by jumping on the water.

Dulay said the suspect is between 25 to 30 years old, stands 5’2”-5’3” and is approximately 55 kilos. Dulay added that the suspect is medium built and has a dark complexion.

Aside from these details the authorities remained clueless on what group is responsible for the kidnapping of a Norwegian, two Canadians and a Filipina in Holiday Oceanview Resort in Barangay Camudmud, Babak District, Samal island.

The victims were identified as Kjartan Sekkingstad, a Norwegian who manages the resort’s marina, and Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, and his partner a Filipina named Maritess.

“We haven’t identified yet the group. But investigation is ongoing and our investigators are gathering information to compare (this) group with the other groups who have conducted this kind of abduction,” said Dulay.

Dulay also said they will be prioritizing  other groups in the list aside from the New People’s Army. He said the NPAs tend to own up to an operation through a press release.

A note saying “KATARUNGAN NG AMING COMMANDER (Justice for our commander) BY NPA” was found a few meters from the site of the incident.

In a separate press conference on Wednesday morning, Task Force Davao commander Col. Cristobal Zaragoza said the NPA will not resort to kidnapping.

Dulay however said the NPAs “are still part of the investigation, but in the priority we will be evaluating other groups in the list.”

Dulay said they are “consolidating efforts with the Armed Forces of the Philippines that will lead to the identification of this group.”

Meanwhile, Police Chief Superintendent Wendy Rosario of the Police Regional Office 11 said they are currently comparing the “signature and system” of the armed group to identify the suspects.

He said the closed circuit television camera footage has been submitted to the cybercrime laboratory for enhancement to identify what kind of firearms the armed men were carrying. Rosario did not give the date on when the result of the test will come out, but said it “depends on the crime lab.”

He said they are hoping that the suspects are still in Davao region. Rosario said the armed group cannot cross the ocean because of big waves and the naval checkpoints are already active in the boundaries of Davao Gulf. He said two helicopters of the Army are also continuing the reconnaissance.

Rosario also said that they are considering to make a resolution for the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) to give priority to big resorts catering to foreign guests and to allow the police and the task force to enter the said premises. He said they had a hard time entering the resorts to conduct security survey as these are “private resorts”.

“Kasi porke daw private di na kami pwedeng pumasok. Ay mali yun, pagdating sa panahon na may ganitong kidnapping kami ang mananagot (They said because they are private we are prohibited to enter. That’s wrong because when incidents like these happen, we are the ones accountable),” said Rosario. (

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