MANILA, Philippines – Australian kidnap victim Warren Richard Rodwell may have already been passed on to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), the military said Wednesday.
| Warren Richard Rodwell with his Filipina wife
The military’s 1st Infantry Division Commander Major General Noel Coballes said it has been a practice of kidnap-for-ransom groups in southern Philippines to sell their captives to the terrorist group, who will then demand ransom.
The military earlier revealed that the abductors are demanding ransom for Rodwell's freedom.
Coballes also confirmed reports that the abductors recently sent photos of Rodwell to his family, supposedly as a "proof of life."
The Australian government has also created its own task force to help local authorities recover Rodwell.
Meanwhile, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has also formed a tracking unit to help authorities recover Rodwell, according to rebel spokesman Vol Al-Haq.
He said the MILF was working to check unverified reports that Rodwell was in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf in their southern island territory of Basilan.
Rodwell, 53, was snatched from his residence in Ipil town in Zamboanga Sibugay last December 5.-- Reports from ANC; Agence France-Presse