Manila: The three foreigners and a Filipina abducted from a resort in Samal Island had been taken to Sulu, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said citing intelligence reports.

Reports reaching Manila said Duterte, during his Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa television programme, said the kidnappers have made their way to Sulu southern Philippines’ eastern tip, from Samal in Davao Oriental where they snatched their victims.

Earlier, President Benigno Aquino III said that a hitherto unknown group had perpetrated the kidnapping of the four victims — Canadian nationals — John Ridsdel, and Robert Hall, 50 — as well as Norwegian resort manager Kjartan Sekkingstad, 56, and Hall’s Filipina partner Marites Flor.

The four were abducted by at least 11 armed men from the Holiday Oceanview Resort in Samal Island on Monday evening.

The 500km sea travel from Samal Island took several hours to Sulu using boats powered by powerful outboard motors the Davao City chief executive said.

Likewise, Duterte said the group that carried out the abduction in Samal were “allied with the Abu Sayyaf.”

Abu Sayyaf is notorious for carrying out kidnap for ransom activities, however, they mainly operate in the Western Mindanao area, particularly the Basilan-Sulu-Tawi-Tawi area. Duterte said the group that perpetrated the abduction is

One of the captives, Risdel is consultant of the mining firm TVI Resources and there are strong suspicions he was the actual target of the abduction.

Contacted by Gulf News earlier, TVI Resources said Ridsdel had been suffering from a number of illnesses.

“He was seeking medical treatment for tuberculosis, pneumonia and a knee injury,” Canadian mining firm, TVI Resources Development said in an official statement sent to Gulf News.

Ridsdel, the firm said, was a former employee TVI Resources said and was “semi-retired and was on vacation at the time of the incident.”

TVI Resources Inc is engaged in mining and had been granted by the Philippine government a 508-hectare mining concession in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte.

Ridsdel and the three, were the only ones taken from the resort among 30 other foreigners present at that time.

“Concerns over Ridsdel’s medical condition has been raised by his family and his close friends as well as the urgency with which he should be treated,” the firm said.