JOLO (AFP) - Police and military were scouring the strife-torn southern Philippine island of Jolo Tuesday for a prominent television journalist and her crew kidnapped by Muslim extremists.
Award-winning journalist for local broadcaster ABS-CBN Ces Drilon, her two-man crew and a Muslim academic were kidnapped on Sunday by members of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf Group, police said.
They said Drilon went to Jolo on Saturday to interview Abu Sayyaf leaders but refused any police or military security.
No ransom demand has been made public, but unconfirmed reports say the kidnappers are asking for between 227,000 and 454,000 dollars for their safe release.
ABS-CBN said in a statement Tuesday that Drilon, Jimmy Encarnacion and Angelo Valderama were "missing."
"All efforts are under way to find them and bring them home. Until we learn more details, ABS-CBN News requests other media to report on this matter with utmost consideration for the safety of our news team," the ABS-CBN statement added.The fourth member of the team was Mindanao State University Professor Octavio Dinampo.
A media blackout was imposed for the first 24 hours of the abduction to give negotiators time to make contact with the kidnappers.