condemned the kidnapping of two foreign nationals in Tawi-Tawi on
Wednesday as it vowed to speed up the resolution of the case and bring
the perpetrators to justice.
||Palace condemns abduction of two foreign nationals in Tawi-Tawi
“We condemn the abduction; and the national and local governments, as
well as all agencies concerned are working to ensure the resolution of
the situation, the recovery and release of the men who remain in the
hands of their captors, and the bringing to justice of the lawless
elements involved,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said
in a statement on Thursday.
Swiss national Lorenzo Vinciguerra, 47, and Dutchman Ewold Horn, 52,
were kidnapped while on a bird watching trip in Sitio Look-Look, in the
village of Parangan in Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi. Their Filipino
guide, Ivan Sarenas, escaped from the gunmen.
Valte said the Tawi-Tawi crisis management committee was immediately
activated with Gov. Sadikul Sahali in charge of resolving the
kidnapping case. Governor Sahali will oversee all of the police and
“Joint elements of the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Navy,
and Philippine Marines are now conducting search operations. For its
part, the Department of Foreign Affairs has notified the embassies of
the nationals concerned, and will keep them abreast of all relevant
information and updates on the situation,” Valte said.
Valte likewise advised tourists visiting the country to inquire with
the Department of Foreign Affairs or their own embassies, regarding
advisories on conditions that may affect their travel plans.
Kidnappings in Mindanao, particularly of foreign nationals have been a
major concern of Philippine authorities. Many of these cases were
perpetrated by the Mindanao-based Muslim extremist Abu Sayyaf Group
(ASG), which was founded in the 1990s. ASG is also being blamed for the
worst terrorist attacks in the country.
In 2000, the group kidnapped 21 western tourists from a Malaysian
island resort and brought them by boat to Jolo. The hostages were
released after ransom amounting to millions of dollars was paid.
The Abu Sayyaf also kidnapped three Americans the following year, along
with a group of Filipino tourists. During a rescue attempt, one of the
Americans was beheaded and another was killed.