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Abu Sayyaf Strikes Again; Abduction of Ces Drilon


Have you heard the news that Abu Sayyaf bandits have kidnapped ABS-CBN reporter Ces Drilon, a multi-awarded broadcaster of the television network ABS-CBN, and her two assistants in Sulu, demanding P20 million for their freedom. They were invited to cover a story last Saturday in Sulu but since Sunday, there were no communication with the said reporters. And until now, ABS is still trying to negotiate with the government officials in Sulu to help them regarding this incident.

Police said Ces Oreña-Drilon, her crew and their companion, Octavio Dinampo, were taken at 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.

It is not the first time staff members of ABS-CBN have been kidnapped by the ASG whose leaders also demanded ransom for their release from the TV network’s management, some years back.

They kidnap victims were eventually freed, but the network never confirmed they had been kidnapped or that ransom demanded was paid, even as media — save for ABS-CBN — kept up with the story.

ABS-CBN even at that time, however, was officially tight-lipped about its staff having been kidnapped.

The source at the giant network confirmed that Drilon and her crew have been kidnapped by the ASG but failed to confirm the amount of the ransom demanded.

The ABS-CBN source also confirmed that top management issued orders of a news blackout on this story.

Abu Sayyaf, so called “bearer of the sword,” has been tagged as an international terrorist group and is said by western media to have links with the terrorist group al-Queda.

The Abu Sayyaf was founded by Abdurajak Janjalani, an Islamic scholar and mujahedin in the Afghan-Soviet war.

The ASG came to international spotlight with a Sipadan kidnapping in 2000. The hostages included several foreigners, as well as international journalists who flocked to the area, where one Commander Robot was reported to have been in charge. Robot, whose legs were amputated, was killed in jail.

Another big international media spotlight was on the ASG again after the group swooped down guests from a resort hotel in Palawan and kidnapped, among others, American missionary couple Martin and Gracia Burnham.

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