MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE 7) The police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) filed a formal complaint before the Department of Justice (DoJ) early Friday morning against Indanan, Sulu Mayor Alvarez Isnaji and his son Haider for the kidnapping of an ABS-CBN news team and their guide.
The complaint was submitted to Chief State Prosecutor Millet delos Santos after she conducted inquest proceedings against the Isnajis at CIDG headquarters in Camp Crame late Thursday night.
The kidnapped journalists -- ABS-CBN news anchor Ces Drilon and cameramen Jimmy Encarnacion and Angel Valderama -- showed up to sign the complaint.
The pre-trial conference for the case has been set for 1 p.m. on Monday.
Interviewed as they left after the complaint was filed, Haider said: ?We are not guilty.?
His father, the mayor, said he was not angry with Drilon. ?It is okay for me,? he said. ?Alam ko naman na wala akong kasalanan [Anyway, I know I am innocent].?
Haider was seen shaking his head during the inquest proceedings. The Isnajis, who were seated across from Drilon, never looked her in the eye.
The inquest started at almost half past 11 p.m.
Earlier, PNP Chief Avelino Razon and Chief Superintendent Raul Castañeda, head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said they have witnesses who implicated the Isnajis in the abduction of the news team and their guide, Mindanao State University professor Octavio Dinampo.
"Based on the revelations given by witnesses, we have seen that Mayor Alvarez Isnaji is a principal suspect in this kidnapping case of Ces Drilon," Razon said.
The witnesses include government officials and policemen who "know certain facts relating to the kidnapping case" and were "present during the incident," Razon said. He declined to elaborate.
After Drilon's group was released and their statements were taken, Razon said, "The fact that Mayor Alvarez Isnaji was involved in the kidnapping unraveled."
Razon said there were "inconsistencies" in Isnaji's statement but refused to elaborate, pending the filing of formal charges.
Razon also noted that the town mayor was appointed by the kidnappers as their negotiator with government, even as the local officials tapped Sulu Vice Governor Lady Ann Sahidula to hold negotiations.
?Mayor Isnaji was not among the government negotiators. He was negotiating for the kidnap for ransom group,? he said.
The mayor's son, Haider, was a "conduit," Razon said, adding that the young Isnaji "was also talking [with the kidnappers] and doing the things that his father was doing."
"Based on the recommendation of our lawyers and investigators, we will be filing charges against the Isnajis," Castañeda said in a separate interview earlier in the day.
The Isnajis were brought to the CIDG Wednesday and underwent ?tactical interrogation.? They are still under the custody of the CIDG.
Castañeda said the PNP would present the Isnajis in a press conference later this Thursday.
The ABS-CBN crew and Dinampo were abducted last June 8.
Valderama was released June 12 after payment of ?board and lodging fee.? The other three were released late Tuesday night. The ABS-CBN news team is now in Manila. The government and the television network claimed that despite a P15 million ransom demanded by the abductors, no money was paid for the release of Drilon and company.