Vice governor clarifies ransom report is unconfirmedPhilippine Daily Inquirer
DAVAO CITY—The vice governor of Agusan del Sur on Thursday clarified that the Inquirer report quoting him as saying that the New People’s Army had demanded P25 million in ransom for three mining officials the rebel group seized following a raid in Rosario town was unconfirmed.
Vice Gov. Santiago Cane said he did not say the report about the alleged ransom demand was true.
The July 7 Inquirer issue carrying the story said Cane told the Inquirer by phone that the rebels wanted P25 million in exchange for the freedom of Christopher Ocite, Gani Altaya and Joel Jayuma.
The three officials of VTO Mining Inc. were snatched by communist guerrillas in an early morning raid in Bayugan 3 village on July 5. They were released a few days later.
Cane, in a text message, said he was “very disappointed with the story.”
“I never told you that there was a demand of P25 million. I only texted you (that) there were unconfirmed reports about it,” he said.
The vice governor said he was bothered by the story as this could endanger his life.
In a statement, Jorge Madlos alias Ka Oris, spokesperson of the National Democratic Front (NDF) in Mindanao, denied that rebels demanded money or guns for the freedom of the mining firm officials. Frinston Lim, Inquirer Mindanao