Abu Sayaff, the PH terrorist group which claimed to have kidnapped and beheaded Canadian citizen John Ridsdel in Southern Sulu Province, had planned to abduct Manny Pacquiao, said Philippines President Benigno Aquino III.
The President said on Wednesday that the terrorist group has “behaved as criminals focused on enriching themselves by taking hostages for ransom.”
He added, “they allegedly even hatched plots to kidnap Manny Pacquiao or one of his children, as well as my sister, Kris or one of her children, with the plan to use them in bargaining for the release of their cohorts.”
The president, whose six-year term is going to end in June, has vowed to channel all his energy to ensure that his successor will face the least trouble in handling these kinds of extremist problem in the country.
Although Aquino has forged a peace pact with a larger Muslim rebel group, he said similar prospects are not possible with brutal Abu Sayaff.
He noted, “We have always believed in the power of dialogue, development and positive engagement over arms.”
But, at the same time, he said that Abu Sayaff has chosen language of force over positive engagement and the government would deal with them by using force.
President Aquino also said that he had sent a letter expressing condolences to Canadian citizen Ridsdel’s family and also described his death as appalling, The Star reported.
Aquino further stated that the group which wants independence in the southern province has also planned some bombings in the Metropolitan Manila. However, the plans are uncovered. Aquino also said that Abu Sayaff may have been planning assassination plot against him.
Manny Pacquiao, a two-term congressman, is running for one of the 12 senates seats in the national election on May 9 reported ESPN.
The winner of world titles in a record eight weight classes, Manny Pacquiao has five children. He announced his retirement after his victory against Timothy Bradley Junior in their third welterweight fight in April.