Mindanao State University marker in marawi City in Lanao del Sur province. (ilink.ph)
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 12, 2010) – Kidnappers have demanded ransoms for the safe release of two Filipino students kidnapped inside their school compound in the restive region of Mindanao, officials said Sunday.
Officials said the kidnappers have originally demanded P1 million, but lowered this to P200,000 for the freedom of Shiela May Vidal, 18, and Alcger Baricuatro, 19. The duo was kidnapped December 7 inside the Mindanao State University in Marawi city in Lanao del Sur, one of five provinces under the troubled Muslim autonomous region.
The military said troops had located the place where the kidnappers are holding the hostages and that the leaders of the gang had been identified.
“We have pinpointed the area where the kidnappers are believed to be holding the victims and troops are in the area to rescue the hostages,” said Army Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, a regional military spokesman.
The military said the hostages are being held by the gang under Salik Muslimen and Machol Sabtulah in the towns of Saguiaran and Piagapo in Lanao del Sur. (With a report from Bong Fabe)