No Ransom for Kidnapped Fil-Ams

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The Philippine government earlier this week ruled out paying ransom to the kidnappers of Filipino Americans who were visiting Zamboanga province to trace their roots.

Deputy Presidential Spokesman Abigail Valte said the government will abide by its “no-ransom” policy in dealing with the abductors to avoid more kidnapping incidents. Intelligence reports disclose the ransom demand is $10 million.

Almost a week after Gerfa Yeats Lunsmann, 42, and her son Kevin, 14, were seized by armed men from a beach house in Tictabon Island, Zamboanga, their abductors contacted the hostages’ family in Virginia in the United States to demand an undisclosed sum of money. Gerta was adopted by her American parents when she was 9 years old. The U.S. State Department said it is working closely with Philippine authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of Filipino-Americans abducted . But the State Department would not say if the United States would deploy a rescue team, or pay a ransom demand for the release of the victims.