Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Militants allegedly abduct Ces Drilon, two cameramen

ABS-CBN 2 news anchor Ces Drilon and two camerapersons were abducted in Sulu, according to some reports.

Suspected al-Qaida-linked militants abduct 3-person TV team in Philippines

The Associated Press
Published in the International Herald Tribune
June 9, 2008

Philippine security forces were searching Monday for a Manila television reporter and two cameramen believed to have been abducted by al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militants while pursuing a story.

ABS-CBN senior reporter Ces Drilon and her two crewmen were intercepted Sunday in volatile Jolo island's Maimbung township by armed men under Albader Parad, an Abu Sayyaf leader in the area, the regional police chief said.

Read more here. According to this report, the ABS-CBN management declined to comment on the issue at the moment, but is releasing a statement early today.

Below is a report from The Mindanao Examiner:

Sayyafs Seize Journalist, 3 Others In Southern Philippines

The Mindanao Examiner
June 9, 2008

Abu Sayyaf militants have seized a Filipino television journalist and two cameramen, including a Muslim university professor in the southern Philippine island of Sulu, police said Monday.

Police said Ces Drilon and her cameramen and their companion Octavio Dinampo were abducted in the village of Kulasi in the town of Maimbung. Drilon’s team arrived in Sulu on Saturday from Zamboanga City, said Supt. Julasirim Kasim, the provincial police chief.

“We received reports that the four were abducted by the Abu Sayyaf led by Albader Parad,” Kasim told the Mindanao Examiner.

He said Drilon’s group, from the television giant ABS-CBN, was believed taken to the hinterlands of Indanan town. Dinampo teaches at the Mindanao State University and is said to be helping Drilon in her coverage. The identities of the two cameramen were not immediately known.

“There is no demand yet for ransom,” Kasim said, adding, Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan convened the Crisis Management Committee to address the situation.

Read more here. Other related reports here and here. The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility is going to issue a news alert on the incident.

I'm a bit surprised that none of the top news websites, even abs-cbnnews.com, the website of ABS-CBN 2, has so far carried a report on what happened. Or at least from my earlier scan of the news items on their websites and in Google Reader. NBN-4 reported on the incident earlier in the afternoon, but I was not able to catch its full report.

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