The odd thing about being kidnapped as the Philippines still maintains the title of kidnapping capital of the world is that its very,very likely your of no interest to people doing it at all. Yet it seems the biggest stigma people have when coming to the Philippines or avoiding coming here at all. Thing is with living in a sub-division as well were a lot of people assume they are away from harm and locked behind closed gates is you don’t know who your neighbours are. If they are criminally, politically or anything else involved there is a good chance your locked in with the same people your paranoid about. It may be portrayed that its just poor people doing the kidnapping but if that was the case were would the millions of pesos disappear to? feed a fire in a hope to destabilise the country by burning all its money?
In reality its all tied with the same people that are supposed to keep things safe. If you look back at the Marcos years its common knowledge that the kidnapping gangs were wiped out at the same time replaced by Marcos’s own groups of people carrying out the same thing instead of a mop up of kidnapping it became more organised as the same people had access to peoples banking information to know who is who. Poor people don’t have access to that information, for a start they wouldn’t even know were to look if they knew it existed its a network same as most organised crime. The lower levels will do the actions while those at the top go and pick out a new car they are going to have with your money.
Where am I going with this? In all honesty I don’t think most people have any risk of being kidnapped purely because your worth nothing financially. Only time that seems to differ is if your caught with someone influential or in the wrong place. Church related people seem to get caught up in it a lot due to being in Mindanao and the fact the church is full of money. The average Expat on a retirement pension isn’t worth anything to them and for that reason you could probably walk through many locations they operate without anyone even raising an eye lid to you. A couple of people I know have been in the wrong place at the right time which included one of them bumping into an NPA commander and his troops which ended up in a conversation about farming and the surrounding areas as its NPA controlled. Didn’t get kidnapped the only thing he was really asked is was he enjoying the Philippines.
Like most things here its common sense he wasn’t obviously wealthy and generally just laid back and none political, none threatening which meant neither were the locals and I think in most cases that’s how people see things as long as you keep wealth out of the picture.