THE Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Friday that the two European birdwatchers that were kidnapped by al-Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf (ASG) bandits in in Tawi-Tawi early last year are still alive.
PNP chief, Director General Alan Purisma said this 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.
The PNP chief said that based on their 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.
The two Europeans were kidnapped by Sulu based ASG bandits under Radullan Sahiron while on watching for exotic birds in a remote island village in Panglima-Sugala, Tawi-Tawi on February 2012.
On late Wednesday afternoon combine police and military operatives arrested a certain Haik Asgali alias Abu Aswad an ASG bandit member involved in the kidnapping of the two Europeans. ANTHONY VARGAS