MANILA, June 24 (Xinhuanet) -- An American, who has been kidnapped with a Filipino overseas work in Iraq, is still alive, a Philippine foreign affairs official said Friday.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for special concerns Rafael Seguis said at a press conference that Roy Hallums, the American kidnapped along with Filipino accountant Robert Tarongoy, is still in captivity alive.
"We were focusing on Bobby (Robert Tarongoy's nickname). But I was told that he (Hallums) is still alive. You can ask Bobby," Seguis said.
Seguis also denied reports that the Philippine government paid between 1.4 million dollars to 10 million dollars for the exchange of the safe release of Tarongoy, who has been home on Thursday.
However, Seguis said that the Iraqi kidnappers demanded the Philippine government to continue the ban of the deployment to Iraq, which was agreed by the government.
On Nov. 1, 2004, Tarongoy was abducted by a group of Iraqi militants with another two foreigners and three Iraqis.
The 31-year-old accountant from Davao city used to work for Saudi Arabia Trading and Construction Company in a US military camp in Baghdad.
The kidnappers have demanded the release of Abu Ghraib prisoners, where US military guards were photographed beating and sexually humiliating Iraqi detainees, and a ransom of at least 12 million US dollars and threatened to kill the hostage if the demand could not be met. Enditem