Duterte offers self in place of kidnap victims

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he is willing to offer himself as hostage in exchange for the freedom of three foreigners and a Filipina kidnapped by armed men on Samal Island.

Duterte said he will be speaking to those responsible for the crime on Friday.

“I will offer myself for an alternative if they want it. I’ve done that before. I will offer myself as a hostage. If they would release I’d like to join them in the forest,” he said.

He added that he is letting the police and the local government solve the problem, since Samal Island in Davao del Norte is not part of his jurisdiction.

Duterte is chairperson of the Regional Peace and Order Council in the Davao region.

“Samal Island is not part of my city. I kept distance out of respect also for these guys. I communicate with the military and the police. I don’t go there to make a show. I might insult the people,” he explained.

“The (abductors) they are professionals, the movement is very precise. Maybe they have participated in some kidnapping before,” he added.

Gunmen kidnapped two Canadian tourists, a Norwegian resort manager, and a Filipina late on Monday at a resort on Samal island, near Davao City, the largest city on Mindanao island in the southern Philippines.

The gang escaped with their hostages in boats, which were found the next day hundreds of kilometers southeast in Davao Oriental province.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) appealed for information on the armed group holding the hostages.

Malacanang said it would not be prudent to place another person at risk following the abduction of three foreign nationals and a Filipina on Samal Island.

This, after Duterte said he is willing to offer himself as hostage in exchange for the freedom of Canadians John Ridsel and Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, and a Filipina only known as Marites.

The four were abducted by armed men at a resort on Samal Island on Monday.

In a text message, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte pointed out that operations are already underway to rescue the victims.

“It would not be prudent for government to place another in a risky situation,” Valte said.

Duterte on Thursday said: “I will offer myself for an alternative if they want it. I’ve done that before. I will offer myself as a hostage. If they would release I’d like to join them in the forest.” -ABS-CBN News

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