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CIDG: Kidnapped news crew’s guide can be state witness

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 16:01:00 07/09/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The guide of a television news team and a university professor kidnapped in Sulu province last month can be tapped as a state witness, the lead police investigator in the case said Wednesday.

At the same time, Jumail “Maming” Biyaw can also be considered as a suspect since he admitted to having arranged an interview with an Abu Sayyaf leader for ABS-CBN news anchor Ces Drilon, cameramen Jimmy Encarnacion and Angelo Valderama, and Mindanao State University professor Octavio Dinampo, said Senior Superintendent Joel Coronel of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

“By his [Biyaw] own admission, he admitted that he was the one who guided the ABS-CBN news team to Indanan, Sulu, and was the one who arranged the meeting at the Ajid River,” Coronel told reporters in Camp Crame during a break from a case conference.

“For that, we would include him also as a suspect, as a participant in the KFR [kidnap for ransom], that would depend on the recommendation of the DoJ [Department of Justice], if he will be considered as state witness,” Coronel said.

Drilon’s group was seized by alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf on June 8, while they were on their way to interview militant leader Radullan Sahiron.

In an earlier interview Tuesday evening, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Avelino Razon Jr. said Biyaw had become a “witness for the government” but declined to elaborate.

On June 20, the CIDG filed kidnap for ransom charges against Indanan town Mayor Alvarez Isnaji, his son Haider, and several Abu Sayyaf members before the DoJ, three days after the Isnajis brokered the release of Drilon’s group.

The DoJ is conducting preliminary investigation to determine whether or not the charges will be filed in court. A hearing has been set in Camp Crame on Friday.

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2008-07-09T08:19:24+00:00UTC07bUTCWed, 09 Jul 2008 08:19:24 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am07

Posted in Uncategorized

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