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Militants set ultimatum for abducted Philippine journalist

Militants who abducted Philippine Television journalist Ces Drilon has set a deadline of Tuesday noon for a ransom of 15 million pesos (337,079 U.S. dollars), local media reported Monday.

According to a Xinhua report, the government negotiator for the hostage's release, Alvarez Isnaji, a local town mayor, said Drilon called him around 8:30 a.m. Monday to relay the abductors' message and pleaded for help. Isnaji said he was also informed that the kidnappers were able to talk to Drilon's family who agreed to pay the ransom.

"I cannot do anything. The parents want to pay," he told on-line news network INQUIRER.Net, adding that the kidnappers expected the money to be delivered to him by Tuesday noon. Isnaji told reporters that the militants said if they fail to get the amount they will stop negotiations for the captives release.

Meanwhile, freshly-appointed Press Secretary Jesus Dureza on Monday said the government would not encourage payment of the ransom as this would embolden kidnap for ransom groups to abduct other journalists.

But Dureza said the ultimatum should not be taken lightly. "We take that into heart," Dureza said, adding that though he is not sure what is in the minds of the kidnappers.

Drilon and two of her cameramen with national broadcasting network ABS-CBN Corporation and a university professor were kidnapped by alleged members of the violent militant group Abu Sayyaf on June 8 in a township of Sulu province in southern Philippines.

Date posted: June 16, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 335