Abu Sayyaf abducted 20 journalists since 2000


Posted at Jun 12 2008 10:15 AM | Updated as of Jun 12 2008 06:15 PM

abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak   Since the Abu Sayyaf gained worldwide notoriety for its acts of terrorism—bombing and kidnapping for ransom, especially—since the late ’90s, there must have been over a hundred journalists, local and foreign, who went into the forests of Sulu and Basilan and  risked the dangers to get a story.   Most were lucky. Others weren’t.   Based on abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak’s research, there have been at least 20 journalists that the group has held captive since 2000. Most of them were foreign journalists, but the list includes reporters of the country’s top news agencies—leading television networks ABS-CBN and GMA-7, and the newspaper Philippine Daily Inquirer, among others.   Some of their reporters were held for only a few hours; others for months.   Reports say ABS-CBN senior correspondent Ces Oreña Drilon and cameramen Jimmy Encarnacion and Angelo Valderama are the latest of Abu Sayyaf’s kidnap victims.   In a statement released yesterday, ABS-CBN confirmed that the three have been missing in Sulu since the weekend. “Until we learn more details, ABS-CBN News requests other media to report on this matter with utmost consideration for the safety of our news team,” it said.   Good news   The good news is all journalists that the group held captive were eventually released.   The following are some of those journalists. This list was based on an Internet research of news stories published by local and international media on the Abu Sayyaf. It may be incomplete.  

Date of Captivity


Length of Captivity

April 2000 (Basilan)

GMA-7 television reporter Susan Enriquez

A few days

May 2000 (Jolo)

10 Foreign journalists (7 German, 1 French, 1 Australian, and 1 Danish)

10 hours

July 2000 (Jolo)

German Andreas Lorenz of the magazine Der Spiegel (He was also kidnapped in May.)

25 days

July 2000 (Jolo)

French television reporter Maryse Burgot, and cameramen Jean-Jacques Le Garrec and sound technician Roland Madura

about 2 months

July 2000 (Jolo)

ABS-CBN television reporter Maan Macapagal and cameraman Val Cuenca

6 days




January 2002 (Zamboanga)

Philippine Daily Inquirer contributor and Net 25 television reporter Arlyn de la Cruz

over 3 months

September 2002 (Jolo)

GMA-7 television reporter Carlo Lorenzo and cameraman Gilbert Ordiales

6 days