If it is true that mayor Alvarez Isnaji of Indanan Sulu pocketed much of the P5-million ransom for the release of Ces Drillon and her abducted group of news team and their guide Mindanao peace advocate Octavio Dinampo, there is no truth to the perception that some 20 million pesos were paid as ransom.
According to PNP chief Avelino Razon Jr., Isnaji kept to himself P3-million and paid the kidnappers of Drilon and her news team and professor Dinampo 2 million pesos. .
Razon said the ransom money was produced by the family of the television journalist.
The police official also showed two pictures to the media at a press conference in Camp Crame, Quezon City. The pictures showed Isnaji, his son, Haider, Sulu Vice-Governor Lady Ann Sahidulla gathered around the P5-million ransom.
Also in the pictures was Senior Superintendent Willy Quidato of the PNP-Intelligence Group, whom Razon said was sent to Sulu on a covert operation in connection with the kidnapping.
He said Quidato was sent to Sulu after local police sources said the leader of the kidnap group was a certain “Larin-Larin.”
“Larin-Larin is the alias of Mayor Isnaji,” Razon said.
Isnaji and his son have been charged with kidnapping. They are currently detained at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame.
In the on-going operations to capture and punish the kidnappers, marines are weary of an all out offensive against the Abu Sayyaf bandits due to collateral damage that may be inflicted against the civilians.
Marine chief uneasy with AFP’s all-out-war vs bandits
The commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps has expressed apprehensions over the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ directive of an “all-out-war” against bandit groups in Sulu province following the release of an ABS-CBN team and their guide who were kidnapped by suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group.
“There are still better ways of dealing with the peace and order situation in Mindanao, such as a dialogue”, Maj. Gen. Ben Dolorfino said.
Rep. Yusof Jikiri of Sulu agreed with Dolorfino.
“The launching of an all-out-war against the bandits is an exaggerated move for the AFP. The kidnappers were vaguely identified by the captives, which indicates that there are new and small bandits operating in the hinterlands of Sulu”, Jikiri said.
Jikiri explained that what the AFP should do is to strengthen their intelligence network in the area to pinpoint the perpetrators and other lawless elements.
“This will avoid collateral damage and displacement of the civilians,” Jikiri added.
Meanwhile, AFP chief Gen. Alexander Yano said that the all-out-war does not only mean hunting down the kidnappers of broadcast journalist Ces Drilon, her team and university professor Octavio Dinampo. He said that offensives will focus on surgical strikes against Abu Sayyaf bandits and other high profile targets of the AFP.