PNP says kidnapped birdwatchers still alive

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THE Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Friday that the two European birdwatchers who were kidnapped by al-Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in Tawi-Tawi early last year are still alive.

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PNP chief Director General Alan Purisma made the statement after government troops captured a ranking ASG member behind in the kidnapping of Dutchman Ewold Horn and Swiss, Lorenzo Vinciquerra.

“They [Europeans] are still alive, based on the reports, they say they are still alive . . . but we do not have evidence to that,” Purisima told reporters in Camp Crame.

Purisima said that based on PNP information, the two Europeans are still in the custody of ASG in Sulu and said that efforts are being exerted by the authorities to safely secure the two foreign hostages.

“We are investigating all of this, we don’t want to give details . . . they are with their captors and we are still verifying the right information on this,” Purisima said.

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