ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 28, 2009) – Philippine police said a kidnapped teacher in Mindanao who was reported to have died in captivity is alive.
Kidnappers have contacted the police to deny reports that Noemi Mandi, who was one of three government teachers kidnapped March 3 in Zamboanga Sibugay’s Naga town, had died in captivity, according to a report by the television network ABS-CBN on Saturday.
Police earlier said that it received reports that Mandi had died and that the remaining hostages Jocelyn Enriquez and Jocelyn Inion were handed over to Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Basilan province, where they are also holding three kidnapped teachers, a boy and a Sri Lankan peace worker since early this year.
Senior Supt. Federico Castro Jr., commander of a police task force working for the release of the hostages, said the kidnappers allowed him to talk with Mandi on the phone.
“This time at least we are sure that they are all alive," Castro told ABS-CBN.
He said they recorded the phone conversation, but Mandi was complaining about their living condition in the hands of the kidnappers.
Police did not say whether Mandi was calling from Basilan or in Zamboanga Sibugay province. The kidnappers have earlier demanded P10 million ransoms for the safe release of the three teachers. (Mindanao Examiner)