PHILIPPINES Task force to rescue kidnapped foreigner

Police set up special group to find Australian adventurer abducted by armed men in Philippines

By Barbara Mae Dacanay, Bureau Chief
December 7, 2011

Manila: A self-styled Australian adventurer who has travelled the world as an English professor and observer of culture was abducted by armed men in his home in the southern Philippines, making him one of many foreigners victimised by militants there, sources said.

There were signs that Warren Rodwell, aged 53, fought and resisted when forcibly taken by armed men from his speciality store and home in coastal Ipil town, Zamboanga Sibugay on Monday night, regional police director Felicisimo Khu said in a radio interview.

Investigators found blood in his home, said Khu, adding that local government officials, police and the military have created an ad hoc group to look for and negotiate with the kidnappers.

With the creation of a task force, Manila's Australian embassy has started coordinating with local and national Philippine authorities to handle Rodwell's case, Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in Canberra.

Assistance was also extended to Rodwell's family, said Gillard, but did not name Rodwell's Filipina 50-year old wife and his three children, who are in their early and mid 20s.

In his website, Rodwell called himself an "international expatriate", adding he taught English "at university level in mainland China", went to India, Myanmar, Taiwan, and was involved with the United Nations education development programme in South America.

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