The victims were identified as Elwold Horn, 52, from Netherlands, Lorenzo Vinciguerre, 47, from Switzerland, and Filipino guide Ivan Sarenas, 35, according to Lt. Col. Randolf Cabangbang, spokesman of the military's Western Mindanao Command. Cabangbang said the victims had just arrived on shore by boat when they were seized.
COMMENT: Although it has been confirmed that an Abu Sayyaf cell is holding Rodwell for an impressive US$2 million ransom, it should not be assumed that Abu Sayyaf is also holding the Europeans and the Filipino guide, as there are a good number of criminal gangs that also engage in kidnapping in the southern Philippines.
Most foreign embassies represented in Manila have strong warnings to their nationals to avoid all travel to the southern Philippines, although some obviously have felt that they knew better than experienced diplomats.
It should also be noted that local police had offered Warren Rodwell police protection as a defense against kidnappers, but he refused their offer.
Alternatively, Rodwell purchased a pistol to protect himself from a handful of experienced kidnappers armed with assault rifles. Unfortunately, because he overestimated his abilities, he was shot while being dragged away by kidnappers.