Another Test, And To Whom?

Ces Drilon kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf in Sulu
By Manila Standard Today

ABU Sayyaf bandits have kidnapped ABS-CBN reporter Ces Drilon and her two assistants in Sulu, demanding P20 million for their freedom.

A military intelligence report said Drilon and two colleagues, cameraman Jimmyfred Encarnacion and a driver, were taken to an area near Mt. Tumatangis in Indanan, Sulu.

Drilon’s team arrived in Jolo, Sulu, from Zamboanga City on Saturday and stayed at the SSC Hostel. They were supposed to interview the one-armed Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron.

Sahiron, who carries a $200,000 bounty from the US government, planned the 2004 bombing in Jolo that killed 11 Filipino civilians and an American serviceman and wounded more than 200 others.

Known as Commander Putol because of his amputated right arm, Sahiron is also considered one of the masterminds of the April 2000 kidnapping of 21 foreign tourists in Sipadan.

At 8 a.m. Sunday, Drilon’s team met with Octavio Dinampo, a professor at the Mindanao State University-Sulu, who is affiliated with the Moro National Liberation Front.

Bandits led by Albader Parad and Gapul Jumdail blocked the yellow Tamaraw jeep that Drilon and her team were riding in Kulasi village in Maimbung, Sulu.

Chief Supt. Joel Goltiao, police chief of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said they were surprised to learn that Drilon was in the area.

He said Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan would head any negotiations with Drilon’s captors.

Intelligence reports put the ransom sought at P20 million, but Goltiao said the bandits had made no demands as of 5 p.m. [...]

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NUJP calls for safe release of Drilon, TV crew
By ABS-CBN News Online

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) has appealed for the safe release of ABS-CBN News senior correspondent Ces Drilon and her crew who were allegedly abducted by suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu.

“Whatever the abductors stand for, whatever their goals are, there is absolutely no justification for seizing journalists whose sole concern is to seek out the truth and present this as accurately as possible,” the NUJP said in a statement.

Drilon was with Jimmy Encarnacion and Angelo Valderama while pursuing a story in Sulu together with their host, peace advocate Octavio Dinampo, when they went missing Sunday in Maimbung town.

An official statement from ABS-CBN appealed to the public to avoid speculation until facts are ascertained.

The NUJP urged authorities to exert all efforts to ensure the safe return of the journalists and their host.

“We are also urging for sobriety among our colleagues in the media in reporting about the incident so as not to aggravate the situation and endanger Drilon and her companions,” the group added.

The NUJP said has recently conducted a series of safety training for journalists, taking into consideration the many risks they go through while performing their duties.

“Too many journalists are sent into dangerous coverage situations without adequate preparations and safety measures. Many silently bear the scars and traumas of their coverage, with hardly any support from those who profit from their toil,” it said.

“It is time Philippine media owners soberly assess the situation and take steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues oftentimes caught in the line of fire just to get the news out,” it added. [...]

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