Cops believe relatives kidnapped Yusoph's son

Posted at 06/22/10 12:38 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Police believe that Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Elias Yusoph's own relatives kidnapped his son in Marawi City on Monday night.

"Kung may kumuha sa kanya ay kamag-anak din niya iyan. May relasyon iyan," Senior Superintendent Paniares Adap, Lanao del Sur provincial police director, told ABS-CBN News in a phone interview.

Adap, however, declined to name the suspects.

Yusoph's son, 22-year-old Noranjin Yusoph, was snatched as he was leaving a mosque in Barangay Sabala Amano in Marawi City around 7 p.m. Monday.

Police said the kidnappers have demanded the nullification of election results in the towns of Malabang, Pitong Taraka and Masiu in Lanao del Sur.

Comelec Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer said the demands of the kidnappers are next to impossible.

"They seem to presume that he (Yusoph) can decide for the Comelec by his lonesome self," Ferrer said.

Senator Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr. on Tuesday pleaded for the release of Yusoph’s son.

"I appeal to my Lanao brothers not to harm the son of Comm. Yusoph and release him soonest," Pimentel said in a statement.

Pimentel said the complaints of the kidnappers are "valid, but the remedy is wrong."

"Government and Comelec should give you immediate relief, else blood will flow," the senator added in his statement.

Members of the crisis management committee were scheduled to meet on Tuesday afternoon in Marawi City to discuss the kidnapping.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said talks between the negotiators and the kidnappers were ongoing. He said the kidnappers have assured Yusoph that his son is being treated well.

"Very communicative naman ang mga abductors niya so nagkakaroon talaga ng usapan," Jimenez said. With reports from Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News and Roxanne Arevalo, ABS-CBN Iligan