Filipina TV kidnap negotiator held

Philippines mayor accused of having a role in abduction of TV crew and local guide.

    Drilon was abducted with her crew and a local guide while en route to meet a contact [AFP]

    'Ranson paid'

    Alvarez Isnaji said he had negotiated the group's release, along with that of a second cameraman who was freed last week, after making "token payments" to the alleged abductors.

    Statements from the freed captives "unravelled the fact that Mayor Alvarez Isnaji is involved in the kidnapping," Razon said.

    Razon said police have also arrested Mameng Bitaw, a man who allegedly agreed to guide the journalists to an interview with a senior Islamic militant leader in Jolo.

    Bitaw went missing while on the way to the rendezvous and the journalists were subsequently captured, Razon said.

    National government officials said no ransom was paid to the hostage takers but sources close to the negotiations said more than $400,000 was paid to secure the captives' release.

    Isnaji said he paid $4,500 to the abductors for the victims' "board and lodging" - a euphemism for ransom.

    He did not say who provided the money.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?