By Aaron Recuenco
A group composed of children of slain Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members in Sulu is being eyed behind the kidnap of two policewomen and their two companions in Patikul town of Sulu last month.
Director General Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said this means that the group has links with the ASG which is notorious for kidnap-for-ransom modus for both local and foreign captives.
“There is a group. It’s a group of sons of the ASG members killed in police and military operations. It’s affiliated with the ASG,” Albayalde said.
PO2 Benierose Alvarez and PO1 Dinah Gumahad were kidnapped, along with their two male companions, in Barangay Liang in Patikul town of Sulu on April 29.
The victims had just gone from a military camp when they were abducted by armed men on board a tricycle which was later abandoned. The armed men are reportedly led by a certain Mujir Yada.
Albayalde earlier disclosed that the kidnapmen have been demanding P5 million for the release of the two cops, adding that the abductors also showed proof of life to the negotiators.
The PNP chief said it is not clear why the kidnapmen targeted the two lady cops although it was earlier disclosed that those who actually took the victims are sons of slain ASG members.
“But this is not a new group. It’s an existing group,” said Albayalde, citing reports from the local police.
Authorities suspect that the victims were already turned over to the ASG for the ransom negotiation, which is usually being done by groups affiliated with the ASG.
“We are sure that this group has ASG affiliation because their ancestors are previously connected with the ASG,” Albayalde said.
It was recalled that the ASG also gained notoriety for beheading their victims if the ransom they would demand are not given.
The government earlier said it would not yield to any ransom demand, although there were reports that some local people were already tapped as negotiators for unconditional release of the two cops and their companions.