Some unscrupulous government officials and private citizens have been reportedly cashing in as negotiators in many of the past kidnapping cases in the Philippines--allegedly jacking up to 100 percent the ransom asked by kidnappers.
And then it is reported today that the primary negotiator to the release of high-profile TV broadcaster, Ces Drilon, and two of her crew members, kept more than half of the ranson paid by kins of the victims.
The family of a television reporter who was abducted by alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf paid P5 million to her captors although only P2 million reached them, police and justice officials disclosed Friday.
In separate press conferences, Philippine National Police Chief Avelino Razon and Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez said that the family of ABS-CBN’s Ces Drilon gave the ransom to Indanan Mayor Alvarez Isnaji, who was negotiating for her release, along with her crew and a professor, after they were abducted last June 8 in Sulu.
The home network of Drilon and the largest broadcasting network in the Philippines, ABS-CBN, follows a strict "no ransom" policy but has said in a statement that they cannot object if the families pay for the release of their loved ones.
I wish I could say that there should be a law against paying ransom to kidnappers. But put in that position, I would also choose to pay for the release of a kidnapped family member.