Sulu kidnappers demand P5M for release of abducted policewomen

MANILA, Philippines – Kidnappers are demanding P5 million from the Philippine government for them to release two policewomen they abducted in Sulu on Monday, April 30.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said on Wednesday, May 2, that local officials have begun negotiating with the kidnapping group two days after the abduction took place.

"May mga negotiators tayo. We asked help from the local chief executives doon at ang hinihingi initially na ransom is P5 million (We have negotiators. We have asked help from local chief executives there and the initial ransom is P5 million)," Albayalde said in a chance interview 

On Monday, April 30, Police Officer 2 (PO2) Benierose Alvarez, PO1 Dinah Gumahad, civilians Jakosalem Ahamad Blas, and Faizal Ahidji were captured in Patikul, Sulu, by what police and military have described in their reports as "lawless elements."

The police are currently looking into the ties of the still unnamed group with the terrorists Abu Sayyaf Group.

The army's Joint Task Force Sulu attempted to rescue the victims on Tuesday, May 1, but the encounter ended with the abductors escaping. The good news, Albayalde said, is "there is proof of life" as of Wednesday morning. 

The PNP chief said it was unlikely they would yield to the demand of the captors.

"That's a terror activity so we do not give in to these kinds of demands," he said. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.