Warren Richard Rodwell, an Australian living in the Zamboanga Sibugay was kidnapped on Monday. Abu Sayyaf is suspected to be behind the kidnapping. He lived and ran a store in Ipil. This is not far from Zamboanga City in southwest Mindanao
Australian Kidnapped In Mindanao
The police have found blood in his home and it is feared that he has been wounded. His Filipina wife is pleading for his release and says he has no money to pay a ransom. The Australian government has said it will adhere to its no ransom policy.
I’m often told how safe this area of the Philippines is. There have been two foreigners that I know of kidnapped recently from this area. Also several Filipino have been kidnapped. Abu Sayyaf has beheaded some of its victims. This area is not safe. There was also heavy fighting near here in October of this year when the military encountered a group of Muslim rebels. The wife of a Scottish national was also kidnapped in Ipil this year.
The group that kidnapped him has ties with Al-Qaeda. How strong those ties are often downplayed but based on what I’ve read about Osama Bin Laden there is good evidence to me the ties are fairly strong.
Mr Rodwell is well traveled. He ha also worked teaching English in other parts of Asia and also works as a writer.
This is a beautiful area and I can see why there is such a strong appeal. Most people go to the area with no problem. However, the chance of something going wrong there is much higher there than it is other places in the Philippines. I’m not going there. To a large degree, safety is about managing the probably of danger. The chance of a foreigner being kidnapped in other parts of the Philippines is quite low. But in some areas of Mindanao the probability is much higher. I tend not to go to places where there are bombs, grenades going off and the military is clashing with rebels. All of this occurs in Mindanao especially in the southern part of Mindanao. If you travel to this area of the Philippines you must exercise extreme caution.
Filed under: Trouble In Mindanao
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