Islamic militants abduct reporter, crew in southern Philippines

June 10th, 2008 - 11:15 am ICT by IANS  

Zamboanga City (The Philippines), June 10 (DPA) A senior reporter and two news crewmen of the Philippines’ largest radio and television network have been abducted by Islamic militants on a southern island, police said Tuesday. Ces Drilon, senior correspondent of ABS-CBN, and crewmen Jimmy Encarnacion and Angelo Valderama had gone to the island of Jolo, 1,000 km south of Manila, Saturday.

Senior Superintendent Julasirim Kasim, provincial police director, said Drilon and her crewmen were reportedly intercepted by armed men under Abu Sayyaf commander Albader Parad Sunday while on their way to Maimbung town.

“We are considering the case as an abduction,” he said, but added that authorities have not yet received a ransom demand.

ABS-CBN confirmed that Drilon and her crew were “missing” in Jolo.

“All efforts are underway to find them and bring them home,” the network said in a statement.

The Abu Sayyaf, which has been blamed for some of the worst terrorist attacks in the Philippines, is also notorious for its kidnapping-for-ransom activities.

In April 2000, the Abu Sayyaf abducted 21 Western tourists and Asian workers from the Malaysian resort island of Sipadan. The hostages were held for months on Jolo until millions of dollars in ransom was allegedly paid.

In May 2001, Abu Sayyaf rebels seized 17 Filipino and three American vacationers from a posh resort in the western Philippines.

One of the American was beheaded in June 2001, while the other was killed in a botched rescue attempt a year later.

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