Philippines - Concern mounts for TV crew held hostage by Abu Sayyaf

    MONTREAL, June 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders is deeply
concerned about the ultimatum issued by the radical group Abu Sayyaf, which is
holding ABS-CBN television presenter Ces Drilon and cameraman Angelo
Valderama, and their guide, Octavio Dinampo. After threatening to kill them if
a ransom of 15 million pesos (300,000 US dollars) was not paid by midday
today, the kidnappers agreed to extend the deadline "indefinitely."
    One of the people conducting the negotiations, mayor Alvarez Isnaji of
Indanan, a town on the southern island of Sulu near to where the hostages are
being held, said the last time he talked to Drilon yesterday, she was sobbing.
    The families of the three hostages have called for their release, saying
they were not able to meet the ransom demand. "We need our father, we do not
even know where to find the money to pay for school," the cameraman's
daughter, Joy Encarnacio, said in an interview for a radio station that
broadcasts to Sulu. ABS-CBN has said it will not pay any ransom.
    The police have identified Sulayman Patta and "Walid" as the persons
responsible for the kidnapping and have offered a reward of 500,000 pesos for
information leading to the arrest of either of them.

For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, Executive Director,
Reporters Without Borders Canada, (514) 521-4111,

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