According to Philippines president Benigno Aquino III, former boxer Manny Pacquiao was the target of an alleged kidnapping design by the Islamist terrorist group known as Abu Sayyaf.
Along with the alleged plot to kidnap Pacquiao, Abu Sayyaf militants also planned on exploding bombs in Manila to try and force funding from the Islamic State, but, luckily, the plans were uncovered and the action was stopped before it could be executed.
According to an ESPN article, Aquino added further details of the plan:
“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,” Aquino said.
The ESPN report also mentions that Abu Sayyaf—who is accused of beheading Canadian John Ridsdel after not ransom demands were not met—may have also been planning on assassinating Aquino, too.
Pacquiao has five children and is, arguably, the most recognizable Filipino in the world, not only accomplishing great feats as a boxer, but also becoming a two-term congressman in his native country who is currently running for a seat in the senate on May 9th.
An outspoken leader who has fallen under controversy for some of his strong and asinine opinions recently, it’s good to see this plot got shutdown and everyone’s safe.