Philippines - TV station's presenter and crew kidnapped on southern island

    MONTREAL, June 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders calls for the
release of ABS-CBN television's presenter, Ces Drilon, her two-member crew and
their guide, who have been missing for the past two days on the southern
island of Sulu and may have been abducted by the militant group Abu Sayyaf,
which has kidnapped more than 30 journalists.
    "We hope that those who have abducted these three journalists and their
guide will hear the appeals being made on their behalf by many of the
country's leading figures," the press freedom organisation said. "Taking
hostages is unacceptable. We call on all those could have any influence over
the kidnappers to try to get Drilon and her colleagues released."
    The country's largest privately-owned TV network, ABS-CBN confirmed today
that it lost contact with Drilon and her crew, Jimmy Encarnacion and Angelo
Valderama, and the Mindanao University professor who was serving as their
guide, Octavio Dinampo.
    It is believed that were kidnapped on the evening of 8 June in Maimbung,
on Sulu, an island to the southwest of Mindanao island, where they had gone to
do a report. ABS-CBN asked other news media to consider the security of its
journalists when covering the story.
    Drilon, who has worked for ABS-CBN since 1989, produces and presents its
programme Business News. She has won several media prizes for her reporting.
    The Mindanews agency said Dinampo has guided journalists on Sulu several
times in the past and has written articles after interviewing Abu Sayyaf
militants. "The kidnappers must free him because he is a man of peace," said
Roberto Layson, another Mindanao peace activist.
    President Gloria Arroyo has ordered the security forces to do everything
possible to find the ABS-CBN crew.
    Abu Sayyaf's many hostages have included European journalists Andreas
Lorenz, Maryse Burgot, Jean-Jacques Le Garrec and Roland Madura, who were
kidnapped on the island of Jolo in 2000. Arlyn de la Cruz, a reporter for the
daily Inquirer and privately-owned TV station Net25, was released in
April 2002 after being held for 100 days on Jolo.

For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, secretary general,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4188, Fax: (514)

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