RealNews

Army in Cahoots with Rebels, Says Ex-Hostage

An American missionary who was held hostage for more than a year has accused the Philippine military of colluding with her captors, saying an army general demanded a 50-per-cent cut of the ransom. In her newly released book, In The Presence Of My Enemies, Mrs Gracia Burnham described her 377-day ordeal at the hands of the Abu Sayyaf group. It ended with a bloody army rescue on June 7 last year that left her husband Martin and Filipino nurse Ediborah Yap dead. Mrs Burnham said members of the Philippine military provided rice, sugar and other food for the Muslim guerillas holding her captive. She said she was told it was because Abu Sayyaf was ‘wheeling and dealing’ with the general in the region, who wanted a cut of the ransom. The guerillas had offered 20 per cent but the general wanted a 50-per-cent cut. Negotiations between the two sides broke down in the end, she said. Full Story

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