Duterte offers self in place of kidnap victims

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 24 2015 11:37 PM | Updated as of Sep 26 2015 02:01 AM

DAVAO CITY -- Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he is willing to offer himself as hostage in exchange for the freedom of three foreigners and a Filipina kidnapped by armed men on Samal Island.

Duterte said he will be speaking to those responsible for the crime on Friday.

"I will offer myself for an alternative if they want it. I've done that before. I will offer myself as a hostage. If they would release I'd like to join them in the forest," he said.

He added that he is letting the police and the local government solve the problem, since Samal Island in Davao del Norte is not part of his jurisdiction.

Duterte is chairperson of the Regional Peace and Order Council in the Davao region.

"Samal Island is not part of my city. I kept distance out of respect also for these guys. I communicate with the military and the police. I don't go there to make a show. I might insult the people," he explained.

"The (abductors) they are professionals, the movement is very precise. Maybe they have participated in some kidnapping before," he added.

Gunmen kidnapped two Canadian tourists, a Norwegian resort manager, and a Filipina late on Monday at a resort on Samal island, near Davao City, the largest city on Mindanao island in the southern Philippines.

The gang escaped with their hostages in boats, which were found the next day hundreds of kilometers southeast in Davao Oriental province.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) appealed for information on the armed group holding the hostages. - with reports from Rodirey Salas, ABS-CBN Davao; Reuters