De Lima baffled by PNP AKG ransom denial

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 27 2012 12:58 PM | Updated as of Jun 28 2012 01:41 AM

Confirms ransom demanded in kidnapping of Burmese boy

MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila De Lima expressed surprise about pronouncements from the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-kidnapping Group (AKG) that the 8-year-old Burmese boy rescued by operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was "abducted, not kidnapped for ransom."

Speaking to reporters in a chance interview, De Lima said she knew ransom was demanded by the boy's abductors.

"Dyan din ako nagtataka na dine-deny na may demand for ransom, kasi may information ako na kidnap for ransom na hindi natuloy. There was supposed to be a negotiation between the kidnappers and the parents through AKG... ang important dito alam natin at totoo, AKG can't deny that, talagang kinidnap ang bata at alam naming for ransom. Kaya nga may negotiation," she said.

De Lima refused to divulge the ransom demanded by the kidnappers.

"I don’t want to announce that information... basta may negotiation. Originally ata mataas, then nagtawaran... sinabi rin ng parents ng nasa opisina sila ni [NBI officer-in-charge Nonnatus] Rojas. Hindi ko inabutan ano usapan nila. Before that, the parents confirmed na may malaki ransom. Alam ng AKG," she said.

The boy was kidnapped last Friday in Laguna. He was rescued yesterday morning in an abandoned house in Taytay, Rizal. De Lima authorized the rescue operation.

"After that, binigay agad namin sa AKG kasi alam naman namin na sila nagha-handle niyan. I authorized the rescue operation... instruction ko nga, when they went ahead with the rescue operation, tiyakin safe ang bata," De Lima said.