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Drilon says she does not doubt Dinampo

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 18:09:00 07/11/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Even as police are eyeing Mindanao State University (MSU) professor Octavio Dinampo as a suspect in the kidnapping of an ABS-CBN news crew, journalist Ces Drilon said she continues to trust him.

But Drilon said she wondered why Dinampo was defending the key suspects in the abduction, Indanan town Mayor Alvarez Isnaji, and his son, Haider.

Drilon, her two cameramen, and Dinampo were held for nine days in the mountains of Sulu in June by alleged Abu Sayyaf extremists.

Asked if she had doubted Dinampo, Drilon told reporters: “Hindi [No]. I am just wondering why he is defending the Isnajis.”

“Maybe there is pressure on him, just maybe,” she added.

On Monday, Dinampo issued a supplemental affidavit clearing the Isnajis over their abduction. Police said that if inconsistencies were found in Dinampo’s sworn statements, he could be considered a suspect.

The preliminary investigation into the kidnap for ransom charges against the Isnaji’s continued Friday. On the hot seat were Drilon and Senior Superintendent Winnie Quidato, who was with the Isnajis throughout the negotiations for the release of the hostages.

Under questioning, Drilon indirectly touched on speculations she could have been sexually abused while captivity.

She said that on the night of her release on June 17, her bosses at ABS-CBN instructed her to stay the night at the Isnajis instead of being flown to a Zamboanga City hospital since medical tests there could fuel talk she was raped.

“I caught their drift, and I told them that was not the case,” said Drilon, who ended up not staying at the Isnaji home after she was fetched by police and military officials.

In a later interview with reporters, Drilon said: “I was not molested.”

She also acknowledged that sexual abuse was “not a misplaced question” since other kidnap victims were reported to have been raped.

Drilon also recounted how she and her crew were slapped, and hogtied and were threatened with beheading.

At one point, Drilon said her abductors told her to put on her make up “so that you will be beautiful when we LBC your head to ABS-CBN.” LBC is a popular courier service in the Philippines.

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Written by joelguinto

FriUTC2008-07-11T10:25:17+00:00UTC07bUTCFri, 11 Jul 2008 10:25:17 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am07

Posted in Uncategorized

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