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Philippine Cops Held in Kidnapping

August 18, 1999

MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ A special Philippine anti-crime agency has arrested four police officers accused of kidnapping an 18-year-old woman, officials said Wednesday.

Authorities said the four officers abducted Dianne Uy, a student, from a parking lot in Manila’s Santa Cruz district late Tuesday.

They then demanded that her father, a businessmen, pay $128,000 in ransom, but they later settled for $25,600, police said.

The officers were arrested after the payoff was made near the Cultural Center of the Philippines just hours after the abduction, said Panfilo Lacson, chief of the Presidential Anti-organized Crime Task Force.

President Joseph Estrada said the arrests showed his government is determined to go after criminals ``whoever they are.″

Ransom kidnappings, once frequent in Manila and the southern Philippines, have been declining under Estrada’s year-old administration.

On Tuesday, soldiers rescued Dr. Vicente Cabalida, his brother, Eduard, and their friend, Cheryl Pagales, from kidnappers in southern General Santos City, said Col. Delfin Lorenzana, commander of the army’s 601st Brigade.

The victims were unharmed but suffered cuts on their feet because the kidnappers took away their shoes after they were abducted two weeks ago.

Two others abducted with them were found dead inside an abandoned mine in Sarangani province near General Santos, about 645 miles south of Manila.

The kidnappers had demanded $256,400, but it was never paid.

Kidnappers in Basilan, another southern province, still held the 4-year-old granddaughter of a former mayor, demanding $38,400 and 50 heads of cattle in ransom.

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