As a follow-up to my previous postings on the December 5 kidnapping of Australian citizen Warren Rodwell, 53, Rodwell is now reportedly in the hands of a Abu Sayyaf unit in the southern Philippines that is known for beheading Christian kidnap victims. The source of this information is The Sydney Herald, which interviewed a reliable military commander in the Philippines.
Rodwell was kidnapped by at least four gunmen disguised as police officers from a house he bought in a village near the coastal town of Ipil on Mindanao. Using poor judgment, Rodwell declined police protection and told local police that he had purchased a handgun and would defend himself from kidnappers.
Obviously, Rodwell apparently was endowed with much more bravado than common sense, as the one time one should NOT resist a kidnapping is when the kidnappers are heavily armed and outnumber the victim.
While engaged in kidnap resolution work in Latin America, I have known at least three kidnap victims who were shot and killed because they resisted a kidnapping. In my countless briefings and training courses I've taught over the years to multinational executives and expats living in foreign countries, I have always consistently urged kidnap targets NOT to resist.
To make matters worse, kidnappers in Mindanao are highly experienced in their craft, having kidnapped countless locals and foreigners over the years.
In Rodwell's case, his persistence to resist a kidnapping, led to him being shot and injured, which is never a wise thing to let happen in a jungle environment, where emergency medical treatment is in very short supply.
What is known is that Rodwell's abductors have contacted the governor's office in the provincial capital of Zamboanga City, indicating they want to negotiate a ransom for Rodwell's release.
Normally, foreign governments who represent the interests of its citizens abroad, leave the resolution of kidnap cases in the hands of host governments in which abductions occur.