Muslim elders negotiate with Yusoph kidnappers

Posted at 06/23/10 5:09 PM

LANAO DEL SUR, Philippines – Muslim elders have been sent to convince the kidnappers to release the son of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Elias Yusoph, a police official said Wednesday.

"Nagsend-off na ng council of elders to talk to the abductors para makiusap na i-release na si Nuraldin nang walang kapalit," Senior Superintendent Paniares Adap, Lanao del Sur provincial police director, told ABS-CBN News.

Adap had said that Yusoph's relatives could have been holding his son captive.

The police, however, have refused to disclose the names of the kidnappers.

Yusoph's son 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.

The Comelec commissioner has appealed to the kidnappers to release his son.

"I have not harassed anybody and they should release my son safely... I do not have any hatred against them. They should understand my situation as a father," Yusoph said.

He said that since he was appointed as Comelec commissioner, he always knew the risks of the job.

Yusoph said his son was on the 3rd day of his stay in Marawi City when he was kidnapped. He said his son is just waiting for a visa to attend a religious school in Saudi Arabia, where he will continue his training to become an imam. -- Report from Roxanne Arevalo, ABS-CBN Iligan